March to honour Grenfell Tower victims one month after disaster

Grenfell Tower survivors will mobilise a grieving community on Friday with a march to honour the dead exactly a month on from the fire.

The commemoration is to take place in silence and will lead mourners on a short procession around the perimeter of the block's charred husk.

Organised by Grenfell United, a collective created for those who fled the inferno on June 14, the walk will culminate at nearby St Clement's Church in the early afternoon.

It rounds off a fraught few days for the west London neighbourhood, characterised by both a string of emotional vigils and a heated confrontation between residents and police at a meeting.

On Thursday, the human cost of the tragedy continued to stack up, as two more of at least 80 people who are believed to have perished in the June 14 blaze were officially named.

The family of Yahya Hashim, 13, paid tribute to the "kind, polite, loving, generous, thankful and pure-hearted" boy who is believed to have died with his parents Nura Jamal and Hashim Kidir.

Relatives of 82-year-old grandfather Ali Jafari said he "was loved and will be greatly missed by his family and the wider community".

Meanwhile, the political tremors of the disaster continued to reverberate, as the Government was urged to end its "fatal obsession with deregulation".

Safety bodies were among more than 1,000 signatories to an open letter calling on Theresa May to rethink the drive to cut so-called red tape under the Conservatives.

A debate in the House of Lords, led by Labour peer Baroness Andrews, culminated in an agreement that safety industry representatives should meet ministers.

She told peers at Westminster: "This fatal obsession with deregulation in all forms across Whitehall has been pursued with no regards for consequences other than the benefits to business."

Two more NHS trusts in England and two schools were added to a growing list of buildings that have failed cladding fire safety checks as part of a safety operation launched in the aftermath of the deadly fire.

The National Fire Chiefs' Council said the fire risks posed by buildings with aluminium composite material (ACM) cladding, which is not of limited combustibility, can be reduced by other actions and further checks.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick said the Grenfell tragedy was "appalling" and she wished it had never happened.

Speaking on LBC radio, she defended the release of information by the force and the official death toll, when questioned by a listener if she felt it was acceptable that some families may have to wait a year to find out the fate of their loved ones.

"We are really, really working on this as hard as we possibly can," she said.

Metropolitan Police Commissioner Cressida Dick

"We are putting out all the information we possibly can, we are working closely with the coroner.

"We can't possibly put ourselves in the shoes of relatives who believe they have lost somebody - every single one of those has a family liaison officer with them.

"And we are doing our level best to give as much information and to be as clear as we can. But nobody would forgive us for guessing or getting it wrong, or doing a mis-identification."

Ms Dick said specialists are working through every floor and every flat "on their hands and knees, sifting every single bit of material they can find", to see if they can find any more traces or remains of people.


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