British Prime Minister Theresa May has branded a video showing an effigy of Grenfell Tower being burned on a bonfire as “utterly unacceptable” and disrespectful to the 72 people who lost their lives in the fire in June, 2018.
The video shows a group of people laughing and joking as the model of the building was lifted onto a fire.
“Here it goes,” a male voice says as flames catch alight at the bottom of the model.
Small figures can be seen in the windows of the building mock-up and onlookers can be heard joking with comments such as “oh, help me” and “jump out the window”.
How could these disgusting people do this to the families of Grenfell Tower. Pure evil racism in 2018. pic.twitter.com/20UHkU1QBh
— Alex Beresford (@alexberesfordTV) November 5, 2018
Investigations by social media verification service Storyful indicated that the video was circulated on closed-messaging applications and was not intended to be posted publicly.
Ms May was part of a chorus of many on Twitter to condemn the video.
“To disrespect those who lost their lives at Grenfell Tower, as well as their families and loved ones, is utterly unacceptable,” Ms May tweeted.
The leader of the Grenfell Tower fire investigation, Metropolitan Police Commander Stuart Cundy, said he was “appalled by the callous nature of the video”.
“To mock that disaster in such a crude way is vile,” Mr Cundy said.
“I can’t imagine the distress this video will undoubtedly cause to bereaved families and survivors.
“The Met’s Grenfell Tower investigation team is taking this matter very seriously. Any offences that have been committed will be fully investigated.”
Bonfire Night – or Guy Fawkes Night – takes place on November 5 each year across Britain, where revellers mark the failure of the 1605 Gunpowder Plot with bonfires and fireworks.