Leader comment: Come on Theresa May, we need a leader

Amid the anger over the Grenfell Tower fire the prime minister could show government can be a positive force

Theresa May has faced a barrage of criticism over her response to the Grenfell Tower tragedy. Picture: Getty

And those who live in high-rise tower blocks across the UK, including Scotland, are seeking assurances over whether their homes remain safe should a blaze break out.

Answers, of course, cannot be immediate.

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Rigorous processes needs to be followed to ensure the correct conclusions are reached. And that tension over accuracy and speed – amid a death toll that could grow to 70 – will dominate headlines for weeks to come.

Right now, the United Kingdom requires strong leadership.

And it is clear that Prime Minister Theresa May, already weakened by a poor general election campaign, is struggling to provide it.

In the long term she knows she cannot survive.

But now, Britain needs its PM. And Mrs May must forget everything that has gone before.

This is her chance to show government can be a positive force. To help the survivors of Grenfell, to do everything in her power to find answers, and to act decisively to prevent another fire.

The £5 million aid package isn’t enough; nor is the announcement of an independent public inquiry.

As sorrow turns to rage, Mrs May must roll her sleeves up. She must speak out, show empathy and begin to tackle the root causes of the London fire.

Don’t slip out the side door. Don’t go quietly Prime Minister.

For the good of our democracy, stand up and show your mettle.