9/11 experts to help identify victims

Experts from the 9/11 terror attack have been brought in to help police identify victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

The Metropolitan Police said the “extraordinary size” of the potential crime scene meant those who worked in the aftermath of the 2001 atrocity in the US were being called upon.

Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey said the 200 UK officers already working on the case were faced with sifting through 15 tonnes of debris on each of the building’s 24 floors.

Meanwhile, a councillor has been criticised after being spotted repeatedly saying “don’t let them in” during an emotional meeting over the disaster.

A Tory councillor mouths ‘don’t let them in’ at a meeting over Grenfell

Kensington and Chelsea councillor Matthew Palmer was spotted making the remark, amid claims a number of survivors were being kept out of the highly-charged meeting on a fire escape.

Deputy leader Kim Taylor-Smith told Sky News he did not think it was the “right thing” to make the comment, and stressed the security was handled in conjunction with the police.

The new leader of the council rejected calls to resign as she faced cries of “murderers” and “shame on you” from survivors.

Conservative nominee Elizabeth Campbell was formally elected as the new chief of the heavily criticised west London council amid angry scenes.

Deputy council leader sorry over attempts to keep survivors out of meeting

As Tory councillors voted for Ms Campbell, survivors in the public gallery jeered and shouted.

The new leader was also booed and heckled again as she addressed Kensington Town Hall.

Asked if she had any plans to resign following the meeting, Ms Campbell said: “No, not yet”.

The Conservative councillor replaces former council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown, who resigned in the wake of the fire, in which at least 80 people died.

New leader of Kensington and Chelsea council is heckled over Grenfell Tower
The new leader of the council was repeatedly heckled

During the stormy meeting, Ms Campbell invited victims, survivors and community groups who wished to speak to contribute.

She said: “We meet at a time of unimaginable grief and sorrow. The Grenfell fire is the biggest civilian disaster in this country for a generation.”

As Ms Campbell described how she had spent the past few weeks meeting survivors, the new council leader faced shouts of “who?”

Ms Campbell admitted the council had “let down” the victims of the Grenfell tragedy, adding: “I am deeply sorry for the grief and trauma you are suffering.

“I am deeply sorry we did not do more to help you when you needed it the most.”

Grenfell protestors gathered outside the council meeting
Protestors gathered outside the council meeting

Residents used the meeting to express anger that some victims have not yet been buried or identified, as well as asking why survivors are still waiting to be rehoused.

Some also described their experience of escaping the devastating blaze on 14 June.

One shouted at Ms Campbell: “You’ve let the dead down, now you want to come for the living?

“You are not in power, you will not be. The people must choose you and we have not chosen you … step down and resign.”

Another resident said the treatment of the fire victims’ families had been “disgusting”, adding: “We’ve been swept under the carpet.”

Grenfell resident at council meeting
One resident addressed the council meeting in tears

One local, in tears and speaking via a translator, said: “I beg you, do not play a game with us. I beg you, do not tell us lies. I beg you, do not waste our time.”

Robert Atkinson, the leader of the Labour opposition, repeated his party’s call for commissioners to take over the running of the Conservative-run authority.

He told Ms Campbell she was “part of the old regime” and said there was “nothing” the Tory council group could do to restore the confidence of locals.

His remarks were met with cheers from the public gallery.

Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad, also a Labour councillor, branded the council “not fit for purpose” as she compared the election of a new leader to the rearranging of deckchairs on the Titanic.

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