United Kingdom opposition leader slams Grenfell Tower fire response

Theresa May visits Grenfell Tower fire victims in hospital as resident confronts Leadsom

Theresa May visits Grenfell Tower fire victims in hospital as resident confronts Leadsom

The shadow Brexit Secretary, who is also the former Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), revealed prosecutors were now part of the investigation.

This will ensure those involved in the response to the tragedy are able "to receive targeted support should they need it", Downing Street said.

However, the chancellor said ultimately the government would be guided by what the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire recommended.

"I spoke to the DPP yesterday and there are prosecutors already in advising the police", said Starmer.

Asked if they would be looking specifically into manslaughter charges, he said: "Yes".

"There are wider regulatory offences but I think manslaughter is the most serious and that's the one that needs to be looked at first".

"So a public inquiry allows things to happen more quickly and allows a broader range of questions and inquests come usually at the end of the exercise".

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Hammond told a weekly BBC politics show that a criminal investigation will examine whether building regulations had been breached when the block was renovated.

Theresa May has assured residents that there will be a thorough investigation into the causes of the fire, and the Metropolitan Police have since opened a criminal investigation into the blaze.

Earlier this week the company confirmed that none of the high rise blocks in Gentoo's ownership have the same cladding and insulation as appears to have been on the Grenfell Tower.

Tony Kinnair, 76, who has lived in Aldenham Tower for 49 years, said: "When you see what happened on the television, it does put a salty taste in your mouth, it's only natural".

The cladding used to insulate Grenfell Tower, widely blamed for spreading the devastating blaze, is banned in Britain, Philip Hammond has said.

Police say at least 58 people are either confirmed or presumed dead, with the figure likely to rise in coming days. "But my understanding is that the best advice is that retrofitting sprinklers may not always be the best technical way of ensuring fire safety in a building", he said.

Criticism of the Government has focused on an apparent lack of coordination on the ground and its failure to immediately find accommodation for dozens of families who lost their homes in the fire. Attention has focused on materials used during the renovation process completed past year.

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Chancellor Philip Hammond later revealed it is illegal to use that sort of cladding on a high rise building in the United Kingdom - not just in Germany and the USA as previously reported.

But Mark Cripps, a spokesman for Municipal Affairs Minister Bill Mauro, said the Ontario Building Code also stipulates that if "combustible cladding" is used on a building over three storeys, the structure must be equipped with automatic sprinkler protection.

The MP called on the government to find and preserve all emails, meeting documents, correspondence with contractors, safety assessments, specifications and reports in order to withhold justice for the victims.

Stuart Cundy, Metropolitan Police commander, warned families of those still unaccounted for that operations to recover and identify bodies were hampered by hard conditions inside the burnt-out building.

Other victims have been named by their families.

Cundy said a full forensic and systematic search was being carried out, but people must prepare for the worst.

The news came as the Government announced those left homeless by the fire will be given at least £5,500 from an emergency fund.

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The MCB later said on Twitter that the incident occurred outside the Muslim Welfare House, which is near the mosque. On May 22, a suicide attack killed 22 people and injured almost 60 after an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

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