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The Latest: UK PM slaps council for aborting fire meeting

Associated Press logo Associated Press 30/06/2017

LONDON — The Latest on the tower block fire in London (all times local):

11:50 a.m.

British Prime Minister Theresa May's office has rebuked a local government council for aborting a meeting about the disastrous apartment house fire in west London because journalists were present.

In a statement released Friday, May's office criticized the Kensington and Chelsea council's decision to halt its first meeting since the Grenfell Tower inferno that killed at least 80 people.

The statement says: "The High Court ruled that the meeting should be open and we would have expected the council to respect that."

The local government council is also facing reports that it used more flammable materials in renovating the building to save money. The report was published Friday in the Times of London.

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11:00 a.m.

A published report says a London local government council chose to use flammable aluminum cladding as a money-saver on the tower bloc where an inferno killed at least 80 people.

A report Friday in the Times cited documents showing that Kensington and Chelsea Council, which owns the building, chose aluminum composite panels for the renovation project rather than a non-combustible zinc alternative. The Times says the decision saved the council some 300,000 pounds ($390,000).

The report comes after the council on Thursday abruptly ended its first meeting since the disaster because reporters were present. The decision came after council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown apologized for the authority's response to the fire.

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