Jacob Rees-Mogg blames Grenfell victims for lacking ‘common sense’

He also doesn’t believe racism or classism had anything to do with the tragedy


Jacob Rees- Mogg has said that the victims of the Grenfell Tower fire should have used "common sense" to leave the building while it was on fire.

He spoke about the Grenfell report that came out last week on LBC radio, saying: “If you just ignore what you're told and leave you 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.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg also stated he doesn't believe racism or classism had anything to do with the tragedy. He said: “I don't think it's anything to do with race or class and, indeed, I think it's rather sad to raise these types of points over a great tragedy."

“Nobody was evil in relation to this great tragedy, but people made mistakes. And humanity makes mistakes and sometimes they have deeply tragic consequences.

“But it wasn't done because people had chips on their shoulder or they were bad people – they just got something terribly, terribly wrong.”

Labour's housing spokeswoman, Sarah Jones, condemned Rees-Mogg's comments. She said: “These are appalling comments. Jacob Rees-Mogg should retract them and apologise immediately.”

Last week, the Grenfell inquiry revealed that 55 out of 72 people who died in the fire were told to remain in their flats by the fire brigade.

Image may contain: Office Building, Apartment Building, High Rise, Urban, Building, City, Town

Victims of the family have since been demanding an apology from Rees-Mogg. Ahmed Chellat, who lost five members of his family in the fire, spoke to the Daily Mirror.

Ahmed said: "He has got to apologise. Who is going to challenge this man over saying this? What common sense is he talking about?

"People died on the stairs trying to leave, they couldn’t breathe. People needed help and directions, they tried to open doors and there was smoke everywhere. What is he talking about?

"How is he coming to this insensitive conclusion? He talks about the cladding and the infrastructure – that’s fair comment.

"The firemen were not aware of how bad this fire was and what the building was made up of, the emergency callers weren’t aware, so people took instructions. This is the reality of it – he wasn’t there."

Related stories recommended by this writer:

Exclusive: The Grenfell Fire left me homeless. Now I’m living in a Holiday Inn while studying at uni

• Grenfell was ‘murder’: Hundreds descend on Parliament for the ‘Day Of Rage’ protest

‘I saw one man jump from the building to escape the flames’: We spoke to a survivor of the Grenfell Tower fire