Sadiq Khan to face questioning by London Assembly over Grenfell Tower disaster

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Sadiq Khan is set to be questioned over the Grenfell Tower disaster after a vigil was held in its shadow to remember the dead.

The London Mayor will appear before the London Assembly on Thursday to tell members what lessons have been learnt from the tragedy.

It comes the day after hundreds of mourners gathered at a wall plastered in tributes in the west London neighbourhood to mark four weeks since the June 14 blaze.

Among those at the vigil was Emma Dent Coad, the newly elected MP for the area, who told the Press Association: “It is still chaotic, the whole process of housing people, getting them social housing, mental health help, whatever other help they are getting, obviously the people who aren’t getting help come to me.

“It’s disgraceful, actually, the council are still failing people every day.”

People place candles at the memorial wall near the Grenfell Tower
People place candles at the memorial wall near the Grenfell Tower (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Earlier a public meeting between the leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council, the police and residents descended into chaos as anger about the progress of the police investigation boiled over.

Senior investigating officer Matt Bonner was met with cries of “arrest someone” as he said the investigation would “not be quick but it would be thorough”.

Kensington and Chelsea Council’s new leader Elizabeth Campbell was heckled by one audience member.

community attend a public meeting at St Clements Church
Members of the Grenfell Tower community attend a public meeting at St Clements Church (Jonathan Brady/PA)

The authority at the heart of the disaster faced a fresh row after she told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “I haven’t been into the high-rise council blocks before, but I am certainly doing that now.”

Coroner Dr Fiona Wilcox revealed 34 of at least 80 people believed to died in the fire have been formally identified, as 10 more inquests were opened and adjourned at Westminster Coroner’s Court on Wednesday.

She has suspended all 30 inquests held so far while a public inquiry and criminal investigation are carried out.

Elizabeth Campbell speaks at a public meeting at St Clements Church
Elizabeth Campbell was heckled by some in attendance (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Meanwhile, a nationwide safety operation is in full swing to establish how many other high-rise buildings were encased in flammable cladding, which is blamed for the blaze’s spread in Grenfell Tower.

The Department for Communities and Local Government said in an update that 224 buildings across 57 local authority areas used material that failed its fire safety tests.

Communities Secretary Sajid Javid said all high-rise buildings found to have flammable cladding will be subject to a so-called whole system test, when they are scrutinised for fire safety in conjunction with the building’s insulation.

But he added none of these tests have yet been completed.

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