Queen’s Speech 2017: Prime Minister Theresa May apologises for ‘failure of state’ in wake of Grenfell Tower tragedy


The Prime Minister has apologised for failing victims in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Theresa May told Parliament she has taken the responsibility to “put things right” as she outlined plans to help residents rebuild their lives.

The comments were made as MPs debated the Queen’s Speech which was delivered in Parliament on Wednesday.

She told MPs: “I’m sure the whole house will join me in sending our deepest condolences to the friends and families of all those who lost loved ones and today we also think of those who survived but lost everything. 

“One lady I had met ran from the fire wearing no more than a t shirt and a pair of knickers. She had lost absolutely everything. 

“So 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.

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Jeremy Corbyn and Theresa May at the Queen’s Speech today. (AFP/Getty Images)

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

Mrs May added: “That is why each family whose home was destroyed is receiving a down payment from the emergency fund so they can buy food, clothes and other essentials. 

“And all those who have lost their homes will be rehoused within three weeks. 

“There will also be an independent public enquiry chaired by a judge to get to the truth about what happened and who was responsible and provide justice for the victims and their families who suffered so terribly.

Mrs May’s remarks came after criticism of the way authorities handled the fire, which ripped through the high rise building in the early hours of Wednesday, June 14.

Protests erupted across the capital on Friday night as fury came to a head over the help and information given to Grenfell residents.

People stormed Kensington town hall while a separate group of protesters marched to Whitehall in anger.

Theresa May met survivors in hospital before inviting some of the residents to Downing Street at the weekend to hear their concerns.

Since the tragedy, the Government announced it was triggering a £5 million emergency aid fund to help those affected.

At least 79 people are now presumed dead as rescue workers continue to search the 24-storey building.

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