Ministers disappointed that Grenfell donations did not reach those affected more quickly

But communities secretary Sajid Javid and policing and fire service minister Nick Hurd praise the Charity Commission for its intervention

Grenfell Tower
Grenfell Tower

- This story was corrected on 29 August 2017; please see final paragraph

Ministers have written to those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire expressing disappointment that donations have not reached them, but praising the Charity Commission for its intervention to help distribute funds.

The letter from Sajid Javid, the communities secretary, and Nick Hurd, the policing and fire service minister, came as the Charity Commission revealed that £7.8m had been handed out to those who needed it.

The fire, which occurred in Kensington, west London, on 14 June, killed an estimated 80 people and left many more homeless.

The commission figures, published on Friday, show a jump of £2m in the amount distributed to people affected when compared with the week before.

But the figures also reveal that the British Red Cross overestimated the amount it had raised by £157,000, putting the total at £18.9m, not £19m as previously reported.

The handout of money raised to support those affected had initially been slow, with just £2.8m distributed up to 11 August, but has sped up in the past two weeks.

The letter, from Javid and Hurd, published last week, said: "Like many of you, we were disappointed to hear that not more of the donations had reached you directly. We are pleased that the Charity Commission has been helping local charities and supporting them in distributing the money, as well as ensuring it is protected and used for you all."

The letter also announced further funding of more than £1m for those affected by the fire, with £750,000 from the DCLG going through the Community Anchor Fund to community organisations and volunteer groups in west London, and £450,000 from the Department for Education going to the Children and Young People’s Fund to support local charities working with children and young people affected by the tragedy.

The commission figures reveal that the rise in the amount of money distributed this week was because of the work of two charities: the Rugby Portobello Trust, which gave out a further £1.8m of the £5.4m it had received directly to those affected, bringing the total it has given out so far to £5.1m; and the London Emergencies Trust, a charity set up in the wake of Westminster attacks earlier this year and which gave out a further £207,000 of the £4.8m it has raised directly to victims, bringing its total distributions to £2m.

The Evening Standard Dispossessed Fund and the London Community Foundation have also jointly passed on £1.4m of the £6.2m available to other distributing organisations, bringing the total they have passed on so far to £5.3m.

- The story originally said that the London Emergencies Trust was set up by the British Red Cross

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