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Summary

  1. Police presume 58 dead but the BBC understands the toll may rise to about 70
  2. Government promises £5,500 for every household left homeless by the fire
  3. London Mayor Sadiq Khan says the disaster was a "preventable accident"
  4. Minute's silence to be held on Monday at 11.00am
  5. Chancellor says Grenfell Tower cladding was banned on high rises
  6. Church services take place across the UK to honour victims

Live Reporting

By Patrick Jackson, Lisa Wright and Dearbail Jordan

All times stated are UK

Latest developments

Grenfell Tower, 18 June
Reuters

To sum up:

  • At least 58 people are dead or presumed dead, police say, but the BBC understands the toll may rise to about 70
  • Prime Minister Theresa May pledged that every household left homeless would receive at least £5,500
  • London Mayor Sadiq Khan described the fire as a "preventable accident" caused by "years of neglect" by the local council and successive governments
  • Civil servants began deploying to bolster the relief effort, making themselves known in the area by wearing high-visibility jackets
  • Kensington and Chelsea Council's leader, Nicholas Paget-Brown, defended his borough's response, saying no single authority could have coped
  • The Home Office is making arrangements for the family of Mohammed Alhajali, who was the first victim to to named, to fly to the UK from Syria
  • A minute's silence is to be held at 11:00 BST on Monday

Tributes to the victims, 18 June
EPA

'This is not a tourist attraction'

The sight of visitors using the ruined tower block as a backdrop for photographing themselves is causing distress, Metro reports.

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Inside the ruins

Members of the emergency services work inside the ruin of Grenfell Tower, 18 June
Reuters
Emergency services continued their work inside the ruins of the tower today.

May pledges 'absolutely everything possible'

Prime Minister Theresa May vowed in the statement to do everything possible for everyone affected:

"As we continue to respond to the needs of the community, our focus is on ensuring that all of those affected by this unimaginable tragedy get the right support as quickly as possible.

"My government will continue to do absolutely everything possible to help all of those affected through the difficult days, weeks, months and years ahead."

Additional aid

The statement from Downing Street went on to sum up other aid being made available:

  • Support for the council through the Bellwin scheme to meet the immediate and uninsurable costs of responding to the disaster
  • A guarantee of funding for temporary accommodation for those whose homes have been destroyed as a result of the fire while permanent homes are found
  • Funding for legal representation for residents to ensure their voices are heard during the inquiry
  • An additional £1.5m to pay for mental health support to the Emergency Services through Mind's Blue Light Programme

£5,500 for each household made homeless

The Prime Minister has confirmed details of how the emergency Grenfell Tower Residents' Discretionary Fund, worth £5m, will be distributed:

  • Every household whose home has been destroyed as a result of the fire will receive a guaranteed £5,500 minimum down payment from the fund. This will be made up of a £500 cash payment and £5,000 delivered through the Department of Work and Pensions into bank accounts or similar in a single payment
  • The £500 cash payment has already begun to be made available to those affected and further payments are available immediately from the Council at the Westway Centre or from Monday through the Post Office in Portobello Road, as and when families need it
  • The £5,000 payment will be available from Monday and support workers will assist households in accessing it - including those who do not have bank accounts
  • The discretionary fund is also being made available to meet funeral costs, and to top up payments for those households with complex or additional needs.
  • The fund will be kept under review and will increase if necessary

The volunteers who flocked to help

People have flocked from near and far to help at the site of the Grenfell Tower fire, with the volunteer effort organised by faith groups, social media and word of mouth.

The BBC's Nalina Eggert spoke to some of the helpers.

Reece Lusmore, from Gloucestershire
BBC
Reece Lusmore, from Gloucestershire

Where were the estate managers?

People, involved in the June 14 Grenfell Tower block fire, arrive at 10 Downing Street, 17 June
AFP
They met Mrs May on Saturday

Residents who met Prime Minister May in Downing Street after the fire have accused Grenfell Tower's estate managers - the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation - of being "invisible in the aftermath of the tragedy".

The group, made up of victims, residents, community leaders and volunteers, told the Press Association they were grateful to Mrs May for listening to their concerns but demanded "real action and immediate results".

"In our meeting at Downing Street, we explained to the Prime Minister the anger of all residents towards the management of the estate over a long period of time, paving the way to this tragedy," the group said in its statement.

"With the exception of very few junior officers, the estate managers have been invisible in the aftermath of the tragedy."

Government advice for fire victims

A reminder here of the advice issued by the Government about support for people affected.

The site includes urgent advice and support for victims, their friends and families, benefit and banking information as well as health and support service.

NHS England London has also tweeted details of help and support on offer.

View more on twitter

Close to my heart - Damon Albarn on Grenfell

Singer and musician Damon Albarn reflects on a part of west London he has known for decades and calls for a change in government policy for the community involved.

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Road closures due to fire

BBC London Travel tweets...

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Missing women 'threatened for raising fire safety concerns'

Two women missing in the disaster were threatened with legal action after raising fears about safety, the Daily Mirror reports.

Mariem Elgwahry, 27, and Nadia Choucair, 33, are believed to have received letters warning them to stop a campaign calling for improved fire safety, the paper says.

Councils must 'reach out to people on the ground'

BBC Radio 4

Rev Dr Alan Everett from St Clement's Church, who helped with relief efforts in the aftermath of the Grenfell Tower fire, told BBC Radio 4 that local authorities should do more to build relationships with local communities.

He added: "The lesson to be learnt from here is that when local authorities have major incident plans that they really need to involve people on the ground.

"You can have a plan in place, which operates at a high level, but you need to reach out to the people on the ground.

"They really need to start building those relationships, I think they need to rehearse their plans more thoroughly, but I think there needs to be a much more positive and open approach to the people who are there day in day out and have all the local connections."

Boxes, languages, ribbons - the volunteer effort

Waqas Ahmad has been coordinating volunteer work on Facebook.

The demands change rapidly but in the course of today he has:

  1. Called for volunteers to help make missing person ribbons
  2. Appealed for more boxes, pallet wrap & wooden pallets
  3. Appealed for sellotape, markers, gloves, hand sanitisers and black bin bags

The Grenfell Tower Volunteers Page also offers translation help in Urdu and Arabic.

View more on twitter

Schools near Grenfell Tower to reopen

Schools close to Grenfell Tower will reopen tomorrow, the Guardian reports.

It says Kensington and Chelsea council has confirmed that Avondale Park primary and St Mary’s catholic primary schools will open.

St Francis of Assisi will also be open but operating from the Sion-Manning site, while Kensington Aldridge Academy will be opening from the Burlington Danes Academy, the Guardian said.

Khan: Tragedy caused by years of neglect

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan leaves Notting Hill Methodist Church near Grenfell Tower
PA
Mayor of London Sadiq Khan leaves Notting Hill Methodist Church near Grenfell Tower

The Grenfell Tower fire was a "preventable accident" caused by "years of neglect" by the local council and successive governments, Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has said.

Speaking after attending a local church service in memory of the victims, he said the fire was "a national disaster that requires a national response".

The government has sent in some of its staff to bolster the relief effort.

Kensington Council said it would fully cooperate with the public inquiry.

The council has been widely criticised for its handling of the disaster, with residents complaining that officials had provided little support or information.

Volunteers can register here

Ealing Council tweets...

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Prime Minister 'was welling up' at meeting

Prime Minister Theresa May
Getty Images

Reverend Mark O'Donoghue of Christ Church Kensington was at the meeting between the Prime Minister and Grenfell Tower residents and volunteers on Saturday.

He told Sky News: "The first meeting yesterday the Prime Minister must have spoken for about five minutes and listened for the rest of the time.

"...the first person spoke about how he'd been rescued from the 19th floor, how he opened his door to a wall of smoke, he could see his hand. He was led out by an arm he couldn't see. And I saw the Prime Minister welling up.

"Somebody began to sob beside her and she just held her hand for the next 20 minutes which wasn't quite the caricature that we have of the Prime Minister."

Pixie Lott 'honoured' to record charity single

Pixie Lott
PA

Pixie Lott was also spotted in west London to record vocals on the charity single, a cover of Simon and Garfunkel's Bridge Over Troubled Water.

The singer, who is known for hits including Mama Do and Cry Me Out, said: "It's so important.

"It's an honour to be involved and to come down and record today.

"Anything that we can do to help, we should," she added.

People told to stop taking 'selfies' at Grenfell site

The Metro is reporting that a resident near the Grenfell Tower block has had to ask people to stop taking selfies at the scene where 58 people died or are presumed dead.

Lorraine Warrington, who lives on the nearby Silchester estate, told the Metro: "This is not the time or place to take selfies – in front of a tower block where my friends passed away."

She said: "I understand people have come to pay their respects, even if they didn’t know anyone we all feel this could happen anywhere.

"But there are some people who just keep taking photographs and filming all the time like tourists, it’s disrespectful."

Fire fighters in Gloucestershire raise cash for London fire victims
They volunteered to wash people's cars to raise money for victims of the Grenfell Tower disaster.

Cladding contractor comments

Members of the emergency services work on the middle floors of the Grenfell Tower block
Getty Images
Members of the emergency services work on the middle floors of the Grenfell Tower block

A cladding believed to have been used on Grenfell Tower was not banned in the UK.

John Cowley, managing director of CEP Architectural Facades which fabricated the rainscreen panels and windows for Grenfell Tower's cladding sub-contractor Harley Facades Ltd, said: "Reynobond PE is not banned in the UK.

"Current building regulations allow its use in both low-rise and high-rise structures.

"The key question now is whether the overall design of the building's complete exterior was properly tested and subsequently signed off by the relevant authorities including the fire officer, building compliance officer and architect before commencement of the project."

The BBC has previously reported that the Department for Communities and Local Government has said such material should not be used as cladding on buildings over 18m high.

Promised extra staff now spotted

BBC reporter Simon Jones tweets....

Specialist fire crews remain at the scene

London Fire Brigade said crews remain at the scene today, with three urban search and rescue modules on site and around 50 specialist search and rescue firefighters.

In addition, four fire engines and about 20 firefighters are also at the site.

London Fire Brigade sais it is continuing to monitor the stability of the tower’s structure alongside building engineers.

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Chancellor Philip Hammond says Grenfell cladding was banned in UK
The Chancellor says a criminal investigation will examine building regulations at Grenfell Tower.

Support list for survivors

The Rugby Portobello Trust tweets

Tube lines remain suspended

Grenfell Tower
Getty Images

Two Tube lines remain partly suspended on Sunday due to safety concerns with Grenfell Tower.

Transport for London said the Hammersmith and City and Circle lines remain suspended past the the site at the request of the emergency services. The lines had been due to reopen at 14:00.

On Twitter the official accounts for both lines say they will be closed "at least all day today".

The spokeswoman added that the lines are suspended between Wood Lane and Edgeware. A "shuttle service" restarted this morning between Hammersmith and Wood Lane.

Kensington council leader Nick Paget-Brown says his resignation is 'not a matter for now'
Kensington council leader Nick Paget-Brown says his resignation is 'not a matter for now'

Fire commissioner: Blaze like 'disaster movie'

Dany Cotton
BBC

London Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton has likened the blaze to a "disaster movie".

In an interview with the Observer, she said crews did not follow normal practice, adding: "Had we just followed standard fire brigade procedures, we would not have been able to commit firefighters in and conduct the rescues we did."

More than 250 firefighters tackled the blaze in north Kensington.

Crews have been receiving counselling through the fire brigade.

Khan: Tragedy was a preventable accident

Sadiq Khan
BBC

Mr Khan described the disaster, the cause of which is still being investigated, as a "preventable accident that did not need to happen".

"The tragedy we're seeing is because of the consequences of mistakes and neglect from politicians, from the council and from the Government," he said outside the church in North Kensington.

Asked if he himself as mayor of London could have done more to help the people affected, he said, "We're doing all we can."

"The reason why the fire spread quickly begs a number of questions about the sort of housing these people were made to live in," he went on.

"It's quite clear to anybody that it's a national disaster that requires a national response from the Government. I'm doing my bit, I'm offering my services to the new chief executives who are taking over the co-ordination. I'm pleased the British Red Cross has come in."

Applause for the fire crews leaving Grenfell site

LBC reporter Vincent McAviney captures the moment

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Sadiq Khan: North Kensington is resilient

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said after attending a church service that it was a "humbling" experience.

He said: I've heard stories of heroism, from Christians, from Muslims and from others, looking after their brothers and sisters, their neighbours and doing the job that we expect from this brilliant community because of the fantastic community that is here in this part of London."

"North Kensington is resilient," he said.

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Paget-Brown: Too much for one borough to cope with

The World This Weekend

Radio 4 programme

Volunteers distribute aid near Grenfell Tower in West London
Getty Images
Volunteers distribute aid near Grenfell Tower in West London

Nick Paget-Brown said it was "not accurate" to say the borough of Ealing had effectively taken over the emergency operation because Kensington and Chelsea could not cope.

The magnitude of the disaster was such that one borough alone could not manage every aspect, he argued. "London has come together," he said.

"I accept that in the early days the support has not been as coordinated as people would want," he told the BBC's The World This Weekend.

"But that is because you do need expertise on a number of different fronts. You need sensitive people with an understanding of the particular needs of this traumatised community. We don't have all of those resources in our borough. That's why we needed help from other boroughs."

DLGC confirms cladding restriction

The burned shell of the Grenfell Tower block in West London
Getty Images
The burned shell of the Grenfell Tower block in West London

The Department for Communities and Local Government has clarified that cladding using a composite aluminium panel with a polyethylene core is banned under the current Building Regulations guidance.

The material should not be used as fire safety cladding on buildings over 18m in height.

However, the department has said it is not able to comment on what type of cladding was used on Grenfell Tower building and that this would be subject to investigations.

Survivors 'being moved around'

People comfort each other outside Notting hill Methodist Church
Getty Images
People comfort each other outside Notting hill Methodist Church

Kensington MP Emma Dent Coad has told BBC One's Sunday Politics that people who have lost their homes in the Grenfell Tower fire are repeatedly not being settled.

She said: "We are still hearing stories of people not being allocated properly.

"There's one woman this morning and her child, they have been moved three times since Wednesday into different accommodation. That's absolutely appalling."

Paget-Brown: I can hardly imagine the awfulness

The World This Weekend

Radio 4 programme

Images of missing people cover a telephone box in Kensington, West London
Getty Images
Images of missing people cover a telephone box in Kensington, West London

Asked if he could put himself in the position of Grenfell Tower residents, Nick Paget-Smith said he had "thought of little else" since he had heard of the fire and the people trapped in the tower. "I can hardly imagine the awfulness of those moments," he said.

Asked if he would resign, Mr Paget-Brown said: "That is not a matter for now," adding that his priority as leader of the council was to provide support for vulnerable people.