A man has been accused of pretending to be a victim of the Grenfell Tower tragedy to receive money from sympathetic strangers.
Furious crowds surrounded the man in central London, with some people shouting and swearing at him and others trying to take the cardboard sign he was holding.
Photographs sent to Metro.co.uk show the man with the sign reading: ‘I’m legend victim which didn’t get help after Grenfell Tower fire.’
Ben Keenan said he became suspicious after spotting him in Oxford Street on Monday.
The 36-year-old of Clapham Junction said he challenged the alleged victim, but the man was not able to give the postcode or location of Grenfell Tower and became ‘belligerent’ when questioned.
Ben told Metro.co.uk: ‘It was obvious he was pulling a fast one.
‘It didn’t seem like he was completely compos mentis.
‘A big crowd formed around him. One guy was saying ‘I lost a cousin in the fire’ and told him to take the sign down.
‘The reaction was a mixture of shock, disgust, and eventually anger.’
The man was reportedly moved along a few minutes later.
Ben said he believed residents of the tower block would not need to ask for money in the street as they have access to emergency funding and support.
He added: ‘If someone was a victim of that there is £5 million in a fund.
‘There is no reason for him to be standing in Oxford Street with a piece of cardboard.’
He also said a friend who had seen the pictures claimed to have previously seen the man and said he is a street performer in Leicester Square.
A spokesperson for the Met Police said: ‘On the afternoon of Monday 19th June in Oxford Street, local Westminster officers were made aware of a man with a placard referring to the Grenfell Tower fire.
‘Police spoke to the individual and words of advice were given. No criminal offences were substantiated. The man was referred onto the relevant authorities.’