On the streets around the charred Grenfell Tower, Prime Minister Theresa May’s name is being uttered in angry tones with rising frequency.
“She didn’t speak to anyone when she came here.”
“She’s supposed to be our leader."
Those are just some of the words local residents have said during often-emotional debates in the shadow of the 24-story burned tower that now looms ominously over the neighborhood.
Police said Saturday that at least 58 people have either been confirmed dead or are missing and presumed to have perished after the public housing apartment complex was consumed by the raging blaze in the early hours of Wednesday. The death toll could still rise.
May, who was reelected prime minister just last week in an election that saw her Conservative Party majority in Parliament wiped out, has been accused of dramatically — perhaps even catastrophically — misjudging the public mood when she visited the site of the devastation Wednesday afternoon. She chose to speak only to emergency crews at the scene before being swiftly whisked away.
Comparisons have been made to George W. Bush’s “Katrina moment,” when the president was photographed staring down at New Orleans from a plane window, instead of interacting with distraught residents on the ground.