Theresa May accused of 'cowardice' after 'private' visit to Grenfell Tower

Theresa May visited Grenfell Tower in private (Picture: BBC)
Theresa May visited Grenfell Tower in private (Picture: BBC)

Theresa May has been blasted for ‘cowardice’ after refusing to meet survivors of the Grenfell Tower disaster for ‘security resaons’.

RBKC Councillor Judith Blakeman told the Victoria Derbyshire programme: ‘She’ll probably be protected from residents as she was protected from electors during the election campaign. It’s a sign of cowardice.’

The Prime Minister made a ‘private visit’ to the high rise this morning as emergency services continue to deal with the aftermath of the devastating blaze.

She was seen speaking to emergency services at the West London housing block, but she faced heavy criticism after shunning the survivors of the fire and refusing to let the media attend.

Posting on Twitter, newspaper editor Matt Kelly wrote: ‘Theresa May visit to #GrenfellTower was “private” says BBC and “no media were allowed”. extraordinary – she is our PM, not a private figure.’

Another said: ‘Theresa May changed a public visit to #GrenfellTower to a private one, not even meeting residents. Appalling public leadership once again.’

Others alleged that she had left without meeting the affected residents.

However, BBC sources claimed that the visit was possibly deemed ‘private’ for security reasons.

Meanwhile, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was seen making a personal visit to a church where displaced residents were receiving donations.

The Labour leader comforted survivors and spoke to those affected.

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 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 Images)

Both visits came shortly before officials confirmed that the death toll had risen to 17 people, after the blaze tore through the building in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Read more about the Grenfall Tower fire

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Man arrested after ‘taking pictures of the dead’ at Grenfell tower block
Devastated Grenfell Tower resident claims fire was caused by his fridge exploding

In the aftermath of the blaze, people have rallied round to support those affected – raising more than £1 million and providing offerings of clothes, food and shelter for displaced residents.

Grenfell Tower is still smouldering (Picture: REX)
Grenfell Tower is still smouldering (Picture: REX)

The cause of the blaze is yet to be formally revealed, but residents have claimed that it was caused by a fridge exploding.

Yesterday, one of Theresa May’s most senior aides also faced questioning after it emerged that he had previously promised a systemic review of fire safety within housing.

Downing Street have been contacted for comment.