Latest: 16 'very ordinary people' from Grenfell Tower expressed 'anger' to Theresa May, says Bishop

Latest: 16 'very ordinary people' from Grenfell Tower expressed 'anger' to Theresa May, says Bishop
Residents outside Notting Hill Methodist Church near Grenfell Tower in west London today.

Update - 8.43pm: Residents affected by the Grenfell Tower atrocity were passionate and angry during a lengthy exchange with the British Prime Minister, a bishop who sat with them revealed.

Sixteen "very ordinary people" sat in Downing Street to bring their concerns to Theresa May in an "unprecedented" meeting and finally felt they were listened to, the Bishop of Kensington, Dr Graham Tomlin said.

He is hopeful the two-and-a-half hour meeting, attended by victims, residents, community leaders and volunteers, was the starting point for a process of "lasting change".

He said: "I'm positive because I think it was a real chance for local residents, people affected by this tragedy, to voice their concerns directly to the Prime Minister so that she could hear them.

"That's why I'm positive about it, because I think in the past local residents here have not always been listened to."

He said that feeling of being ignored is a source of much "deep frustration", and told how people have been left feeling "that decisions are taken about their lives and their homes that they are not party to".

He described the residents as "brilliant" in how they raised and explained their concerns to Mrs May.

He said: "I thought the way they expressed themselves with a mixture of passion and reason was fantastic, and I hope it's the beginning of a process, not the end of a process, the beginning of a process of real listening between Government, RBKC (the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea council), local residents, that will bring about lasting change."

Following the meeting, Mrs May released a strongly-worded statement in which she said on-the-ground support for families in the immediate aftermath of the blaze "was not good enough".

She said she has ordered daily progress reports on housing for those affected, and vowed the public inquiry into the disaster will be "open and transparent".

Dr Tomlin said the residents had gone from living normal lives before the tragedy to bringing their frustrations to the very top of Government.

He said: "Clearly it's quite unprecedented for 16 very ordinary people, who this time last week were walking their dogs or talking to each other in the streets around here and north Kensington, actually to be in 10 Downing Street talking face-to-face with the Prime Minister. I think it was a good thing to do."

Asked if there were angry exchanges, he said: "We tried to hold it well as a meeting. There was passion, there was anger, but there was good, hard, reasoned argument used by the residents."

Questioned as to whether the anger followed Mrs May's initial visit to the west London site during which she did not meet residents, he said: "We didn't talk directly about that."

Dr Tomlin said he believed residents left the meeting feeling "reassured that they were listened to", but added: "Time will tell as to whether it makes a difference.

"We wait to see what action will come from it, but they were reassured that they were listened to."

Update - 5.47pm: The family of Syrian refugee Mohammad Alhajali, the first Grenfell Tower victim to be identified, have described him as a "a very amazing and kind person".

The 23-year old's family said he had come to the UK with hopes for the future, and they will miss him dearly.

In a statement Mr Alhajali's family said: "Mohammad was a very amazing and kind person. He gave love to everyone. He came to the UK because he had ambitions and aims for his life and for his family.

"Our whole family will miss Mohammad dearly and he will never be forgotten.

"To God we belong and to him we return."

Photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of Mohammad Alhajali who has now been formally identified as one of the victims who perished in the Grenfell Tower fire.
Photo issued by the Metropolitan Police of Mohammad Alhajali who has now been formally identified as one of the victims who perished in the Grenfell Tower fire.

It comes after British Prime Minister Theresa May has said the support for families "who needed help or basic information in the initial hours" after the Grenfell Tower disaster "was not good enough".

The Prime Minister said there had been "huge frustrations" on the ground as people struggled to find information.

After a two-and-a-half hour meeting in Downing Street with victims, residents, community leaders and volunteers, Mrs May said she had heard their concerns.

She added: "The response of the emergency services, NHS and the community has been heroic.

"But, frankly, the support on the ground for families who needed help or basic information in the initial hours after this appalling disaster was not good enough."

Mrs May said money from the £5m emergency fund to help victims buy food and clothes was already being handed out and more funding would be allocated if needed.

She has ordered daily progress reports on housing for those affected.

Latest: 16 'very ordinary people' from Grenfell Tower expressed 'anger' to Theresa May, says Bishop

Mrs May added: "There have been huge frustrations that people do not know who to talk to, that they can't get through on the council hotlines.

"I have ordered that more staff be deployed across the area, wearing high visibility clothing, so they can easily be found, dispense advice and ensure the right support is provided. Phone lines will have more staff.

"Victims have concerns their voice will not be heard, that their many questions about this tragedy will not be answered.

"That is why I ordered a public inquiry, with the costs for providing victims with legal representation met by Government.

"The inquiry will be open and transparent. Government and ministers will cooperate fully. I anticipate the name of the judge will be announced within the next few days and that an open meeting will be held with residents to help shape the terms of reference.

"It has been decided today that the public inquiry will report back to me personally. As Prime Minister, I will be responsible for implementing its findings."

Mrs May said councils have been told to complete urgent safety checks on all high rise buildings further action "will be taken" if needed.

"After something this traumatic, many people will be in need of not just financial support, but also counselling. NHS London will provide that support," she added.

"I can also announce that NHS London will provide specialist long-term bereavement support for the families who have lost loved ones, and immediate psychological support is being provided by Cruise and Red Cross."

Mrs May said the Grenfell Tower blaze "was an unimaginable tragedy for the community, and for our country".

She added: "My Government will do whatever it takes to help those affected, get justice and keep our people safe."

Update - 3.30pm: Fifty-eight people are missing and presumed dead in the Grenfell Tower disaster, the officer in charge of the investigation said.

Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy warned that the death toll could rise further as he formally identified a first victim as 23-year-old Mohammed Alhajali.

Earlier on Saturday British Prime Minister Theresa May met victims of the blaze at Downing Street, amid criticism she had not seen them in the immediate wake of the tragedy.

Mr Cundy said: "Sadly, at this time there are 58 people who we have been told were in the Grenfell Tower on the night that are missing, and therefore sadly, I have to assume that they are dead."

"That number 58 may change. I really hope it won't, but it may increase.

"Our focus has been on those that we know were in Grenfell Tower. However, there may be other people who were in there on the night that others were not aware were there.

"That is also an absolute priority for the investigation - to establish who they may be," he added.

Mr Cundy also appealed to anyone who may have escaped from the building, but has not yet come forward, to make themselves known.

Of the 58, he said 30 were confirmed dead. 16 bodies have been recovered from the Tower and taken to a mortuary.

Latest: 16 'very ordinary people' from Grenfell Tower expressed 'anger' to Theresa May, says Bishop

Mr Cundy said the police investigation into the blaze would look at the building and its refurbishment in 2016 and vowed to prosecute people "if there is evidence".

He said: "The investigation is a police investigation. We investigate criminal matters. The investigation will identify any criminal offence that has been committed. It will be wide ranging.

"It will go to establish the answers of what happened in the fire and how it spread, it will look at the building itself, it will look at the refurbishment as well.

"Our criminal investigation will identify any criminal offences that have been committed. Wherever we can, we will bring people to justice if there is evidence. It is completely and wholly inappropriate for me to talk about details of the investigation which may subsequently jeopardise any criminal proceedings."

Earlier: At least 70 people, including children and entire families, have been reported missing following the Grenfell Tower fire.

Two people previously reported as missing have now been confirmed dead.

Mohamad Alhajani, a 23-year old Syrian refugee, was named as the first victim of the fire yesterday, before local artist Khadija Saye, 24, was named today

Latest: 16 'very ordinary people' from Grenfell Tower expressed 'anger' to Theresa May, says Bishop

The Press Association has verified 54 other individuals as missing, according to multiple reports from friends, family and witnesses on the scene.

Mary Mendy

Ms Saye's mother, Mary Mendy, was reportedly with her daughter on the 20th floor of Grenfell Tower on Wednesday night.

Ms Saye's friend, artist Nicola Green, said on Wednesday: "We're desperately trying to communicate with all the hospitals.

"We're told some people have been rescued up to the 19th and 20th floor. [Khadija] was on the 20th floor. Nobody has any information at this point."

Jessica Urbano

Twelve-year-old Jessica Urbano is still missing following the fire at the block.

Ana Ospina posted an image of the young girl, said to be about 5ft, on Facebook, saying: "Please continue to share the photo of my niece who has not yet found her. I know there are people who say they already found her, but the reality is that there has been no news of her."

Mrs Ospina told PA the young girl lived on the 20th floor, adding: "She last spoke to her mum when she borrowed a phone and told her she was on the stairs with other people.

"We then have had unconfirmed reports/sightings of her outside of the flats and also being put into an ambulance, but we have checked hospitals and no news."

Mariem Elgwahry and mother

Emma Evans shared an appeal to find long-time friend Mariem Elgwahry, who lived on the 19th floor of the tower block and was said to be missing with her mother, reportedly called Suhar.

Ms Evans said Ms Elgwahry had last been heard from when she spoke to another friend in the tower block - who was since confirmed safe - at around 2.30am.

She added that she had been to a number of rescue centres in the area "with no luck yet".

Ali Yawar Jafari

Ali Yawar Jafari, 82, is thought to be among those missing.

His son, Hamid Ali Jafari, said his father had lost contact with his mother and sister, who lived with him in Grenfell Tower, on the 10th floor.

The younger Mr Jafari said he had been to several rescue centres throughout the day since first reporting his father missing on Twitter just before 8am.

Asked if he had any news since then, he said: "No."

According to the Telegraph, Mr Jafari said: "He was with my mother and sister in the lift and she said the lift stopped on the 10th floor and he said there was too much smoke and he couldn't breathe and he got out of the lift and then the doors shut and it didn't stop again 'til the ground floor."

Raymond "Moses" Bernard

A family friend confirmed to the Press Association that Raymond Bernard, known to friends as Moses, remained missing after the fire.

Rania Ibrham and two children

Believed to be a mother of two small children, Rania Ibrham, 30, uploaded a harrowing Facebook Live video as she appeared to be stuck at the top of the tower block, and has not been heard from since.

In the footage, she can be seen seeking help in the smoke-covered corridor of the block before going back into her home and looking down on the street below from her balcony.

Friend Rahmana Rashid posted a picture of her and two young girls on Facebook, saying: "Rania Ibrham my friend is missing from the grenfill tower, if you have seen her or have any news on her pls contact me."

Another friend, named only as Maseen, told the MailOnline: "My friend, Ranya Ibrahim, lives on the top floor with her two children who are just three and five years old."

"I received a Snapchat video from Ranya at 3am just after the fire started and I haven't heard from her since," she added.

"She lives on the top floor and her husband was not home because he is on holiday."

Hesham Rahman

Noha Baghdady shared a picture of her brother, Hesham Rahman, 57, across a number of platforms, saying he lived on the 20th floor of the tower block and she had not heard any news since the fire broke out.

She said her nephews were "currently searching hospitals" and added:

"I'm feeling so helpless; all we can do is pray he is safe and well."

According to Sky News, Mr Rahman's last contact with his family was at around 3am when he told them he could smell smoke.

It was also reported that Mr Rahman has diabetes, making it difficult for him to walk down stairs.

Dennis Murphy

Stevan Racz shared a post seeking information about his uncle Dennis Murphy, who he said had called while trapped on the 14th floor of the building.

"We haven't heard anything since. Can anyone with any information contact me please," he said.

A comment on another post seeking Mr Murphy said: "I've been around asking everyone, going to the centres, no one's seen him."

Mohamed Neda

A friend of missing Mohamed Neda, Ariana Neumann Rodger, posted on Facebook that "his family are severely injured and in hospital and desperate to find out where he is".

Zia Popal, who described Mr Neda as his uncle, also posted on the social network, saying: "He was on the top floor of the building trying to help (people) and went missing since.

"If anyone has links with emergency services please take a look at his photos and pass them on just in case anyone has spotted him.

"We have already been to all (the five) major hospitals but they do not have him registered."

Anthony Disson

Known as Tony, the 66-year-old is reported to have last been in contact with his family at around 3am while he was inside the building.

Lee Disson, Tony's son, posted an appeal for information on Facebook and said he was "still praying for him".

The appeal read: "If anyone has seen my Dad, Tony Disson could they let us know. My heart goes out to all the people at Grenfell Tower."

Lee confirmed to the Press Association that his father was still missing.

He is reported to have lived on the 10th floor and his wife Cordelia, Lee and three other sons have been searching for him in hospitals.

Abdulaziz Wahabi, wife Faouzia and children Nurhouda, Yassin and Medhi

All five lived on the 21st floor of the tower, according to Mr Wahabi's sister.

Hana Wahabi told reporters: "I rang him and the fire had not reached the top of the block at that point.

"He said he had been told to stay inside, stay in one room together and put towels under the door.

"I told him to leave. He said he was going to come. Then I called him and he said there was too much smoke.

"The last time I saw him they were waving out the window. The last time I spoke to his wife, he was on the phone to the fire brigade."

A man claiming to be Yassin Wahabi's uncle told Sky News his nephew is being treated in hospital, but posters and appeals for information remain on the scene and on social media.

Mohamednur Tuccu

Mr Tuccu is missing along with his wife Amalahmedin and his three-year-old daughter after visiting relatives in Grenfell Tower, his employer said.

Mr Tuccu's manager, chief executive of Red Consultancy, Mike Morgan told Sky News: "Mo is a part of the family. He will have been with us for 10 years next month and is due to be awarded his decade milestone. We all just want to hear that he is OK."

Gloria Trevisan and Marco Gottardi

The young Italian couple recently moved into the 23rd floor of Grenfell Tower.

Friends and family have appealed for information online after last hearing from the couple early on Wednesday morning.

Ms Trevisan, 26, called her mother in Italy at roughly 3.30am on Wednesday to say their building was ablaze, according to the Italian newspaper Corriere del Veneto.

A lawyer for the Trevisan family told Italian media they have "no hope" to find their daughter alive.

Ligaya Moore

The Embassy of the Philippines in London has appealed for information about Ligaya Moore, 79, who lived in Grenfell Tower.

Family of Mrs Moore told PA she is diabetic, and has lived in London for more than 40 years.

Mrs Moore's grandson, Nico Purificacion, called her "an admirable woman".

"Our family loves her so much," he said. "She's very fun to be with despite her age. So innocent yet very straightforward. She's been in London for a very long time, she visits us here in the Philippines once in a while."

A Bangladeshi family of five

Friends of a family of five who lived on the 17th floor are appealing for any reports of their whereabouts.

Bangladeshi newspaper the Dhaka Tribune named the family as Komru Miah, 82, his wife Razia Begum, 65, and their children, Abdul Hanif, 29, Abdul Hamid, 26, and Hosna Begum Tanima, 22, citing a local official.

A family friend told PA: "We are all just waiting and praying for some good news."

The Belkadi family

A family of five were among those who have not been heard from since being caught up in the inferno.

Mother Farah Hamdan and her husband Omar Belkadi lived on the 20th floor of Grenfell Tower with their daughters Malek, seven, Tazmin, six, and Leena, just six months old.

After a day of frantic searching, the two eldest daughters were found in hospital by family members with the help of a nurse.

According to reports, the nurse had led them to the bedside of one of the girls after being given her description.

Once there, the relatives saw her sister in a bed nearby. One was in a coma, the other sedated, the Daily Telegraph reported.

The fate of the remaining three family members remains unknown.

Berkti and Biruk Haftom

Relatives are urgently trying to find Berkti Haftom, 30, and her 12-year-old son Biruk, who live on the 18th floor of the tower block.

They have not been seen since the blaze broke out and family have been waiting for news at the nearby St Clement's Church.

Arsiema Alula said: "There's no information from anyone who has seen them.

"We've tried the emergency number but they wouldn't give out any information.

"We tried all the hospitals, all six, but there was nothing."

The Choucair family

Nadia Choucair and her husband Bassem live on the 22nd floor with their three daughters Mierna, 13, Fatima, 11, and Zeinab, three years old. They have all been reported missing since the fire.

Friends of Mierna have shared pictures and posters around the area appealing for information.

Hamid Kani

Sixty-one year-old Hamid Kani lived on the 15th floor, according to family, but has no relatives in the the UK.

"All members of his family are here in Iran," Mr Kani's niece, Maryam Shahvarani, told the Press Association. "They are worried to death about him."

She said he lived alone, struggled with hearing problems and wore hearing aids.

"Please someone help us to have just a little information about his destiny," she added.

Fathiya Alsanousi and children

Fathiya Alsanousi, believed to be in her 70s, has not been seen since before the fire broke out.

"People still can't get through to her," read posters which have been placed in the area. "Please keep an eye out."

Friend Suhair Sharif told Mail Online Mrs Alsanousi lived on the 23rd floor with her son Abu Feras, 38, and daughter Esra Ibrahim, 35.

All three are still believed to be missing.

Sakineh and Fatima Afraseiabi

Sakineh Afraseiabi, 65, and her younger sister Fatima (age unknown) were on the 18th floor of the building and have not been seen since.

A family member said they had tried numerous hospitals, rescue centres and the emergency line but said: "No one can give you an update."

Nura Jamal, Hashim Kidir and children

A young family who reportedly lived on the 20th floor of Grenfell Tower are also among the missing.

Posters placed in the area appeal for information about two of the children, Yahya and Firdous, believed to be 13 and 11.

But reports from friends in the area and from family on social media suggest parents Nura Jamal and Hashim Kadir, as well as youngest child Yaqub, are all still missing.

Sean Mendez, 36, who runs Solidarity Sports, told the Mirror: "I have known the children and the family for more than four years, both kids really enjoyed football and were both really intelligent and articulate."

Isaac Shawo

Five-year old Isaac Shawo was last seen escaping the blaze with neighbours and family, but reportedly got lost in the smoke.

"My neighbour said he would hold him and bring him down," Isaac's mother, Genet Shawo, told the Evening Standard. "But when I got outside I realised Isaac wasn't there."

"I have been to all the emergency centres, all the hospitals and there is no news of him."

Parents of Isaac's school friends have been appealing for any information on social media.

Marjorie and Ernie Vital

Marjorie Vital, 67, and her son Ernie, 43, lived on the 16th floor of Grenfell Tower.

Friends and family members have put posters up around the area appealing for information.

A family member told PA: "We still haven't found them, and we're still searching hospitals."

Sheila Smith

Sheila Smith, 84, lived on the 16th floor of Grenfell Tower.

A friend, Gary Allen, said he had known her for 20 years, and described her as a "truly beautiful person" and "love, pure and simple".

"We shared a great interest in history, Shakespeare, the Knights Templar, et cetera and she had a great spirituality about her," he said.

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