Crowds protest Theresa May's visit to scene of London tower blaze

A town hall meeting was also stormed by protesters

Crowds protest Theresa May's visit to scene of London tower blaze

People gather outside the UK department for communities and local government to demand justice for the victims of the fire that destroyed Grenfell tower in London | Image: NurPhoto/SIPA USA/PA Images

British Prime Minister Theresa May has been confronted by angry crowds after meeting victims of the Grenfell Tower fire in London.

Mrs May had received criticism after visiting the scene of the blaze on Thursday, but failing to meet any of the survivors.

She returned to the site today, this time meeting victims and residents, but was met with cries of "coward" and "shame on you" as she left under heavy police escort.

During her visit - which lasted less than an hour - she also spoke to volunteers and community leaders at St Clement's Church.

A man in the crowd commented: "What did she bring, what useful things did she bring? The tower block is more strong and stable than that woman's government."

Scuffles broke out in the crowd as Mrs May's car drove away from the scene of the disaster.

In an interview, she was questioned over whether there was a need for the UK government to accept some responsibility for what had happened.

"Something terrible has happened," she answered.

"This is an absolutely awful fire that took place. People have lost their lives, people have had their homes destroyed, they have fled for their lives with absolutely nothing."

Asked if she had misread the public anger, she replied: "What I have done since this incident took place is, first of all, yesterday ensure that the public services had the support they need in order to be able to do the job they were doing in the immediate aftermath."

During Mrs May's visit, it was announced a £5m (€5.7m) fund would be made available to pay for emergency supplies, food, clothes and other costs.

People watch from a balcony as people walk during a demonstration following the fire at Grenfell Towers that engulfed the 24-storey building on Wednesday morning in London | Image: Tim Ireland/AP/Press Association Images

Town hall stormed

Dozens of protesters also stormed Kensington and Chelsea town hall on Friday shouting "we want justice" and "not 17" - referring to the previously announced official number of dead, which has now risen to 30.

Organisers appealed for calm as hundreds of people - some of them holding posters of the missing - surrounded the building demanding answers from the council over the deaths.

Several people appeared to clash with security guards inside, before leaving the building and gathering on the steps outside.

More than 20 police officers rushed into the town hall to restore order and mounted police were on stand-by.

Later, dozens of people appeared to push and shove each other outside the town hall.

Some protesters were called away from the town hall's foyer by protest organiser Mustafa Mansour, who urged them to remain calm.

Mr Mansour detailed a list of requests submitted to Royal Chelsea and Kensington Borough, including a commitment for the "immediate rehousing of all the victims...within the borough".

He urged protesters to remain on scene until they receive "answers" from the council over the blaze on Wednesday.

In a written response, a council spokesman said: "We plan to house residents of Grenfell Tower as locally as we can.

"But we may well need help from our close neighbours. We want to rehouse people in a good home as quickly as we can.

"The council is committed to looking after the immediate and longer-term housing needs of all those affected by the fire."

Mrs May later said that all survivors would be rehoused within three weeks as close as possible to the tower.