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Survivors confront Grenfell Tower police probe officer at church meeting

Investigating officer Matt Bonner was quizzed at St Clement’s Church a short distance from where the blaze happened exactly four weeks ago.

Grenfell Tower survivors have confronted the senior investigating officer of the police probe into the disaster during a heated public meeting.

A meeting intended to give locals an opportunity to question key figures descended into chaos as residents became angry and upset.

Investigating officer Matt Bonner was quizzed at St Clement’s Church a short distance from where the blaze happened exactly four weeks ago.

“I cannot tell you about the case as it would put the investigation at risk,” he told the audience.

He was met with cries of “arrest someone” as the crowd grew increasingly frustrated by his explanation.

He said the police investigation would “not be quick but it would be thorough”.

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(Left to right) Dr Deborah Turbitt of Public Health England, Barry Quirk, interim chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea Council, and Elizabeth Campbell, who is to step in as leader of the council, attend a public meeting at St Clements Church in west London (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Also in attendance was incoming council leader Elizabeth Campbell, who was heckled by one audience member.

Hilary Patel, who is part of community engagement for the Grenfell Response Team, told the locals that they should not be worried about the building collapsing.

“The building has never been at risk of falling down,” she said.

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A man places flowers at the memorial wall on Bramley Road, London, as people attend a vigil to mark four weeks since the Grenfell Tower fire (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Residents were told that Grenfell Tower could not be covered yet because doing so could change the humidity and other factors inside, which could interfere with the investigation.

They were also told scaffolding was not yet an option, as it would need to be fixed to the middle of the building, which could also interfere.

Residents were also assured that the air around the estate was safe enough to breathe.

“We’ve monitored for asbestos and found none in the vicinity,” said Dr Deborah Turbitt, from Public Health England.

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Dr Deborah Turbitt (Jonathan Brady/PA)

One woman, whose questions to the panel were being translated, took the microphone as residents at the meeting began shouting over each other, and asked them: “What truth are you looking for here?”

“They’re just wasting time,” a translator told the room for her.

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