Jacob Rees-Mogg was doing the broadcast round for the Tories this morning, to discuss the Conservative party’s plans for Brexit and the country, as the general election campaign gains pace. But instead of singing the government’s praises, the Leader of the Commons instead ended up being embroiled in a row about the Grenfell fire disaster after he appeared on LBC with Nick Ferrari.
Asked about the fire, and in particular whether racism or class were to blame for making the disaster worse, the MP began by drawing attention to the cladding itself, and criticised the ‘stay put’ policy of the London Fire Brigade, which meant people stayed in their homes rather than flee the tower block. But Mogg then went further when he appeared to suggest the residents themselves should have left the building anyway:
‘If you just ignore what you’re told and leave, you’re are so much safer. And I think if either of us were in a fire, whatever the fire brigade said, we would leave the burning building. It just seems the common sense thing to do. And it is such a tragedy that that didn’t happen, but I don’t think that’s anything to do with race or class…’
Mogg has since apologised for the remarks saying:
‘I profoundly apologise…What I meant to say is that I would have also listened to the fire brigade’s advice to stay and wait at the time… However, with what we know now and with hindsight I wouldn’t and I don’t think anyone else would…. I would hate to upset the people of Grenfell if I was unclear in my comments.’
Watch the interview here: