Grenfell Tower: Theresa May apologises for government response to blaze which killed 79

In a statement to the House of Commons on Wednesday Theresa May apologized for the government’s immediate response to the Grenfell Tower fire.

Speaking at the house debate on the Queen’s Speech, the Prime Minister said there had been failings both locally and nationally but promised survivors that her government would help to rebuild their lives.

At least 79 people perished in the blaze and dozens of families are currently living in temporary accommodation.

Mrs May said: “Let me absolutely clear. The support on the ground for families in the initial hours was not good enough.

“People were left without belongings, without roofs over their heads, without even basic information about what had happened, what they should do and where they could seek help.

“That was a failure of the state, local and national, to help people when they needed it most.

“As Prime Minister, I apologise for that failure. And as PM I have taken responsibility for doing what we can to put things right.”

The Prime Minister added that her government is testing cladding on all tower blocks and said private landlords have a social responsibility to test their buildings.

However, it emerged today at an estimated 600 residential tower blocks could have similar cladding to Grenfell Tower and tests have shown that three tower blocks are considered to be ‘combustible’.

This means that hundreds of families across the country are at risk of immediate displacement.

Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “The news this morning confirms people’s worst fears that there is a real risk that other tower blocks across Britain are at risk from combustible cladding.

“There is now a huge amount of work to urgently do to ensure that it is safe for people to remain in properties affected.

“If not, the government must support people being housed immediately while cladding is being removed.

“I’m working with the London Fire Brigade and local authorities in London so that this happens as quickly and smoothly as possible.”

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