Thursday 14 November 2019

Emily Maitlis: I had enormous sympathy for Theresa May over Grenfell

The TV presenter spoke about the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

File photo dated 20/01/16 of Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis.
File photo dated 20/01/16 of Newsnight presenter Emily Maitlis.

By Sherna Noah, Press Association Senior Entertainment Correspondent

Emily Maitlis has said she had sympathy for Theresa May when she interviewed her about the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, despite giving her a tough time.

The Prime Minister was questioned by the BBC presenter in the aftermath of the atrocity.

Maitlis, who volunteered by sorting donations before presenting Newsnight from the scene, said of the interview: “Friends told me it was the angriest they had ever seen me.”

She told Radio Times magazine: “Let me say here, for the record, that actually I had enormous sympathy for Theresa May that day.

“She looked spent and exhausted a week after a failed election, a summer of terrorism and tragedy on this inconceivable scale.

“The reason I went so hard that day was because – I think – I had heard and seen the anger first hand. This was no longer an intellectual exercise.”

She added: “Survivors were turning up, shell-shocked and looking for someone to tell them what to do, where to go. There were very few people in authority there.

This week’s Radio Times magazine cover (Radio Times).

“That day was powered by volunteers – amazing people who got their act together when no-one else seemed to have a clue what to do.”

Maitlis said that the tragedy “horrified and disturbed me for many nights to come.”

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