The Prime Minster's most senior minister has defended the way Theresa May handled the Grenfell Tower tragedy , after she was criticised for not meeting victims.

First Secretary of State Damian Green said suggestions that the PM does not seem to have what it takes to respond to such a disaster were "terribly unfair".

He told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "She's distraught by what happened as we all are.

"Absolutely she has the same degree of sympathy and horror at these events that we all have."

Theresa May faced cries of “coward” and “shame on you” as she returned to Kensington to meet Grenfell Tower disaster victims, after only speaking to emergency services on Thursday (June 15).

Prime Minister Theresa May speaks to members of the fire service as she visits Grenfell Tower on June 15

The Prime Minister met the group of victims, residents, volunteers and community leaders at St Clement’s Church close to the scene of the horrific blaze shortly before 5pm, on Friday (June 16).

There was a large police presence which had to hold back an angry crowd outside the church.

Mr Green said the Government expected to appoint a chairman to lead the public inquiry into the fire "in days rather than weeks".

"We want it to be able to have interim reports as well," he added.

"So this is not going to be one of those exercises of using a public inquiry to delay a response. Actually, we want the response to be as fast as possible."

Mr Green said the probe will look at whether sprinklers should be retrofitted to tower blocks and the Government will "follow the recommendations of the public inquiry".

You can follow our live blog for all the latest updates on the fire, including efforts to support and rebuild the lives of those affected.

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