Prime Minister Theresa May and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn both visited the scene of the Grenfell Tower disaster on Thursday, but many have pointed to the differences in their time at the site.
May was pictured through a long lens camera being briefed by senior figures of the emergency services. She later called for a full public inquiry into the catastrophe, which has claimed the lives of at least 17 people.
May did not spend time with the victims of the blaze, according to reports. In contrast, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was pictured with those who have lost their homes and neighbours in Tuesday night’s fire.
In the image above, Corbyn hugged Councillor Mushtaq Lasharie as he arrived at St Clement’s Church, where homeless Grenfell residents have received relief. Below, he met an unnamed resident.
The contrast between May and Corbyn’s visit has been highlighted by many on Twitter:
Tells us everything: Corbyn goes to the Grenfell Tower disaster and meets survivors, May poses for TV cameras and ignores victims https://t.co/daHLdAhw5o
— Kevin Maguire (@Kevin_Maguire) June 15, 2017
— scarlet (@VoteJezzaCorbyn) June 15, 2017
— SimonNRicketts (@SimonNRicketts) June 15, 2017
It didn’t go unnoticed by residents either. “Theresa May was here but she didn’t speak to any of us. She was s**t,” one told Corbyn during his time at the scene, according to the Daily Mirror.
The Labour leader told reporters: “Some very hard questions have got to be asked and some very hard questions must be answered. The fire is not supposed to spread from one flat to another, it’s supposed to be contained. It wasn’t.”
One local told BuzzFeed that his presence was welcome. Alia Al-Ghabbom said: “I live in the block next door. I just said ‘thank you for being here, it really means a lot so us’, he was really emotional.”
- Sky News
May announced the public inquiry in a pool interview for the BBC, ITV, and Sky News. She said: “We need to know what happened. We need to have an explanation for this. We owe that to the families, to the people who have lost loved ones, friends, and the homes in which they lived.”
The death toll in the Grenfell Tower fire has risen to 17. A further 69 were injured, with 17 in a critical condition. Police and fire crew expect to be on site for weeks combing through the devastated building. They do not expect there to be any other survivors.
The cause of the fire is not yet known, and Met Police Commander Stuart Cundy said on Thursday that the investigation would be a “long and lengthy” process.