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May faces fury as tower block fire protesters demand justice

19 Juin 2017

Police said on Saturday that at least 58 people had been confirmed or were assumed to have died in this week's blaze at the Grenfell Tower block.

Mr Cundy said: "Sadly, at this time there are 58 people who we have been told were in the Grenfell Tower on the night that are missing, and therefore sadly, I have to assume that they are dead".

"It was a death trap, and they knew it", one person shouted as demonstrators stormed inside the offices of the Kensington and Chelsea council, which was responsible for managing the social housing block in a working-class enclave of one of Britain's richest districts.

Commander Stuart Cundy, of the Metropolitan Police, said that number "may increase" and that the "significant" recovery operation is likely to take weeks.

Even Lily Allen called out the death toll, claiming firefighters and police on the ground were quoting a total nearer 150 with a large number of children among the dead.

Jeremy Corbyn has written an open letter to the Prime Minister, calling on her to ensure that the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire will be wide enough to ensure that fire safety standards are improved for all tower blocks.

Police surrounded Ms May as she left the church, where a crowd of angry protesters had gathered, shouting "shame on you!" and "coward!".

In a statement to mark the official celebration of her 91st birthday, she said: "It is hard to escape a very soreer national mood" after a "succession of terrific tragedies".

The group, made up of victims, residents, community leaders and volunteers, said they were grateful to Theresa May for listening to their concerns but demanded "real action and immediate results" moving forward. At least 30 people have been killed, hundreds of others have been left homeless and dozens of others are missing.

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(AP Photo/Matt Dunham). A resident in a nearby building watches smoke rise from a building on fire in London, Wednesday, June 14, 2017.

As the search for missing people enters its third day, anger among the residents was still palpable but they are less keen to talk as television cameras swarm the scene.

In a television interview Friday, she sidestepped questions over whether she had misread the public mood. "We will continue to look at what more needs to be done". We want to rehouse people in a good home as quickly as we can.

Cundy promised an "exhaustive investigation" into the tragedy and said "my heart goes out to those affected". "United in our sadness, we are equally determined, without fear or favor, to support all those rebuilding lives so horribly affected by injury and loss".

When the prime minister visited the west London site of the fire on Thursday she spoke only to emergency services.

He added: "We would like the chief executive of the council to make public commitments on what the council is going to do for the victims of this borough, and for all the other buildings in the borough that could stand the same fate at Grenfell Towers".

Anger over the causes of the fire and the government's handling of the tragedy have grown during the week.

Meanwhile, fury has grown in the local community at what people say is a slow response from authorities and a failure to inform families and friends about the fate of loved ones.