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Grenfell Tower fire: PM apologises for local and national government failures

The Prime Minister said the initial support on the ground for families was “not good enough”.

Theresa May has apologised for the failures by local and national government in responding to the Grenfell Tower fire.

The Prime Minister said the initial support on the ground for families was “not good enough” with people lacking basic information about what they should do and where help was available.

Speaking in the Commons, Mrs May said this was a failure to help people “when they needed it most”.

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The PM said the initial support on the ground for families was "not good enough" (Niklas Halle'n/PA)

She added: “As Prime Minister, I apologise for that failure.”

Mrs May made her remarks following the Queen’s Speech, which included plans for a civil disaster taskforce.

At least 79 people were left dead following last week’s fire at the west London tower block.

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

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“People were left without belongings, without roofs over their heads, without even basic information about what had happened, about 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 Prime Minister I have taken responsibility for doing what we can to put things right.”

Mrs May said each family whose home was destroyed is receiving a payment to enable them to buy food, clothes and other essentials. She reiterated there will be an independent public inquiry, also noting all those who have lost their homes will be rehoused within three weeks.

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