Theresa May promises 'proper investigation' after Grenfell Tower fire

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Prime Minister Theresa May has promised a "proper investigation" following the Grenfell Tower fire, saying that if any lessons are to be learned they will be, and "action will be taken".

Twelve people were killed and many more were feared dead after flames tore through the block of flats in west London in the early hours of Wednesday.

Hundreds of firefighters tackled the blaze, rescuing 65 people, but more than 70 have been left in hospital, with 18 in critical care.

Mrs May paid tribute to the efforts of the emergency services and said support should be given to the hundreds affected by the fire.

Speaking from Downing Street she said: "There are people tonight who have no home to go to, they have lost absolutely everything, so our focus must be on support to them.

"In due course, when the scene is secure, when it's possible to identify the cause of this fire, then of course there will be proper investigation and if there are any lessons to be learnt they will be, and action will be taken."

Earlier on Wednesday, Police and Fire Minister Nick Hurd chaired a meeting of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat to co-ordinate the response to the disaster, and the Government said it was ready to assist "as necessary".

Mrs May said it was "impossible to comprehend the horror" of what the victims of the fire have gone through.

The tragedy comes little more than a week after Londoners stood defiant in the wake of the London Bridge terror attack, and Mrs May applauded the "incredible bravery" of the emergency services and the reaction of those who helped those caught up in the fire.

She said: "The response of people living nearby who provided help, compassion and support has I think once again shown the fantastic spirit of London.

"Earlier today I ordered a cross-government meeting to ensure that every assistance was being given to manage the emergency service response and that group will meet again tomorrow."

It was agreed at the meeting of the Civil Contingencies Secretariat that further checks would be carried out on similar tower blocks.

But Mrs May refused to comment on whether such checks should have been carried out before, or claims that the Government has failed to bring in tougher regulations promised last year.

And she said that while she is "continuing to have talks" with the DUP about a possible alliance, "today there has been a real focus on this terrible tragedy that has taken place in London".