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Theresa May to attend Grenfell memorial as families call for overhaul of inquiry

By Gavin Cordon

Theresa May is to attend a memorial service for the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire, Downing Street has said.

The Prime Minister will go to event at St Paul's Cathedral tomorrow before travelling to Brussels for an EU summit. Communities Secretary Sajid Javid will also be present.

Mrs May was booed and heckled by some residents when she visited the area in the immediate aftermath of the blaze amid criticism of the Government's response to the disaster.

The service - six months on from the fire - has been organised at the request of survivors and will take the themes of remembrance, hope and unity.

News of Mrs May's attendance emerged as bereaved families and a survivor of the Grenfell Tower fire delivered a petition to Downing Street calling for an overhaul of the public inquiry, declaring it would be a "tragedy" if their concerns were ignored.

Sandra Ruiz, Karim Mussilhy and a teenage girl, who all lost loved ones in the blaze, joined former resident Nicholas Burton to deliver the 16,000-signature document to the Prime Minister.

Clutching a green box with 'Grenfell' written inside a heart, the youngster, who asked not to be named, was greeted by staff at the door of Number 10.

The petition is asking for a panel from a diverse range of backgrounds to sit alongside Sir Martin Moore-Bick at the public probe into the blaze.

Ms Ruiz said in a statement to the Press afterwards: "It would be a tragedy if, again, we're ignored by those that we entrust with our safety and confidence in the inquiry is destroyed.

"We hope the Prime Minister is listening and agrees to what are reasonable and proportionate requests."

Later, the Duchess of Cambridge heard the stories of mothers caught up in the Grenfell Tower blaze when she visited a centre supporting the local community.

Kate had a private informal meeting with a group of young women who have been helped by the Rugby Portobello Trust at its community centre in North Kensington.

She even played Father Christmas, helping to hand out presents to children whose parents attend the Magic Mums group, many of whom were affected by the Grenfell inferno which claimed 71 lives, including that of a stillborn baby, and left hundreds homeless.

The trust has been a key institution for survivors of the blaze, helping to distribute much-needed donated funds to families who lost everything in the fire.

The duchess told a group of youngsters in a music therapy workshop: "It's amazing for all of you to have this support, particularly at such a difficult, such a tragic time."

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