Jacob Rees-Mogg has caused outrage for suggesting people who died in the Grenfell Tower tragedy lacked “common sense”.
The Tory MP told LBC host Nick Ferrari that the victims would have survived if they’d ignored fire brigade guidelines to stay inside and wait for assistance. He said that, in the same position, he’d have left the building as “it just seems the common sense thing to do”.
A report into the tragedy released last week found that “many lives” could have been spared if the “stay put” policy has been abandoned. Residents were told by firefighters to lock themselves inside, with 55 of the 72 people who died in the fire were told to remain in their flats.
The more one’s read over the weekend about the report and about the chances of people surviving, 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. And it is such a tragedy that that didn’t happen.
On Twitter, people were absolutely furious about the comments, which were seemed "appalling" and "monstrous".
Following the backlash, the Tory MP issued an apology and attempted to clarify his remarks. He said:
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.
What’s so sad is that the advice given overrides common sense because everybody would want to leave a burning building.
I would hate to upset the people of Grenfell if I was unclear in my comments.
With hindsight and after reading the report no one would follow that advice. That’s the great tragedy.