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Theresa May Snubs Grenfell Residents As Corbyn Is Mobbed By Locals

15/06/2017 10:50 PM AEST | Updated 16/06/2017 11:25 AM AEST

Theresa May is facing a tide of anger after refusing to meet Grenfell Tower survivors when she visited the scene of the blaze this morning. 

In stark contrast to Jeremy Corbyn, who was pictured hugging and greeting residents, the Prime Minister was flanked by security as she viewed the devastation at the Kensington high-rise disaster.

But her ‘private’ visit meant she did not encounter residents, journalists or any members of the public - in a move some dubbed “appalling”.

One local resident called Kim said: “Our Prime Minister: where is she? She came and she didn’t speak to people. She got into a car full of police who took her down there.”

Kim added: “She didn’t speak to any of the local residents, the people who count. She wasn’t here for more than five minutes. 

“She just came for a quick look around. She didn’t even want to come. This is just her protocol. She just wanted to look good.”

Labour Leader Corbyn though was mobbed in the street by residents and media when he visited a refuge centre at St Clements Church.

He told community leaders: “The truth has got to come out.”

Firefighters continue to search for victims. The Metropolitan Police has confirmed 17 people perished in the blaze and the death toll is expected to climb. 

Meanwhile May has ordered a full, judge-led public inquiry into the tragedy. 

 

The prime minister offered no explanation as to why her visit was shut off to the public. 

Speaking in a television clip, she said: “I have visited the scene of this terrible fire this morning. 

“I wanted a briefing from emergency services.”

She later added: “There are people tonight who have no home to go to, they have lost absolutely everything, so our focus must be on support to them.

“In due course, when the scene is secure, when it’s possible to identify the cause of this fire, then of course there will be proper investigation and if there are any lessons to be learnt they will be, and action will be taken.”

Ordering the public inquiry, which London Mayor Sadiq Khan had also demanded today, she said: “Right now, people want answers and it is absolutely right and that is why I have ordered a full public inquiry. 

“We need to know what happened and we need an explanation of this. We owe it to the families and to the people who lost loved ones, friends and the homes in which they lived.” 

  • PA Wire/PA Images
    Prime Minister Theresa May visits the scene near Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building yesterday morning.
  • PA Wire/PA Images
    Prime Minister Theresa May speaks with London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton as she visits the scene near Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building yesterday morning.
  • PA Wire/PA Images
    Prime Minister Theresa May visits the scene near Grenfell Tower in west London after a fire engulfed the 24-storey building yesterday morning.
  • PA Wire/PA Images
    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn comforts a local resident (name not given) at St Clement's Church in west London where volunteers have provided shelter and support for people affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower.
  • WPA Pool via Getty Images
    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn comforts a local resident (name not given) at St Clement's Church in west London where volunteers have provided shelter and support for people affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower, on June 15, 2017 in West London, England. (Photo by David Mirzoeff - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
  • PA Wire/PA Images
    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn comforts a local resident (name not given) at St Clement's Church in west London where volunteers have provided shelter and support for people affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower.
  • PA Wire/PA Images
    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn arriving to meet staff and volunteers at St Clement's Church in west London who have provided shelter and support for people affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower.
  • WPA Pool via Getty Images
    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn hugs councillor Mushtaq Lasharie as he arrives at St Clement's Church in west London where volunteers have provided shelter and support for people affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower, on June 15, 2017 in West London, England. (Photo by David Mirzoeff - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
  • Jack Taylor via Getty Images
    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visits a volunteer centre at St Clement's Church near the scene of the Grenfell Tower fire, on June 15, 2017 in London, England.
  • Barcroft Media via Getty Images
    Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn visits one of the relief centers, around St. Clement's Church, Notting Dale, near the scene of the devastating Grenfell Tower fire which has claimed the lives of at least 12 people, with many more missing and dozens injured, leaving every resident in the building homeless at on June 15, 2017 in London, England.
  • WPA Pool via Getty Images
    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn meeting staff and volunteers at St Clements Church in west London who have provided shelter and support for people affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower, on June 15, 2017 in West London, England. 
  • Jack Taylor via Getty Images
    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn visits a volunteer centre at St Clement's Church near the scene of the Grenfell Tower fire, on June 15, 2017 in London, England.
  • PA Wire/PA Images
    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn meeting staff and volunteers at St Clement's Church in west London who have provided shelter and support for people affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower.
  • PA Wire/PA Images
    Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn meeting staff and volunteers at St Clement's Church in west London who have provided shelter and support for people affected by the fire at Grenfell Tower.

Corbyn has been lauded after he met with volunteers and community leaders.

They showed him the donations that have been pouring in since the disaster.

“It’s great that you’re in place,” he told them.

When asked about an investigation into the circumstances of the fire, he replied: “We have to get to the bottom of this. The truth has got to come out and it will.”

Reacting to the news a public inquiry would be held, Corbyn said: “I feel very angry that it was possible for the fire to spread in the way it did. I feel very angry that so many have lives have been lost when the system didn’t work.

“There are thousands of tower blocks around our country. Every single person living in one today will be frightened. They need answers to provide them with security and peace of mind.

“Kensington is a tale of two cities - it is among the wealthiest parts of this country but the ward where this took place is one of the poorest.

“The judge-led public inquiry must be speedy and all residents should have access to legal aid and the support they need.

“Residents must also be re-housed, using requisition of empty properties if necessary, in the community they love.

“I would like to give thanks to the firefighters who risked their lives to save the lives of others, and the police and the paramedics who did the same.

“Some hard questions need to be answered. It cannot be right that in the 21st century a fire like this happens.”

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