Stormzy has called Jacob Rees-Mogg an ‘actual piece of s***’ and told him to resign after he suggested Grenfell Tower victims who followed fire service advice to stay put lacked ‘common sense’.
Mr Rees-Mogg, 50, was asked about decision by London Fire Brigade not to evacuate the burning block for almost two hours and told LBC’s Nick Ferrari: ‘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.’
The politician later said he ‘profoundly apologise’ for the comments, but that wasn’t enough for Stormzy, who attacked him in a series of tweets this afternoon.
He wrote: ‘Oi @Jacob_Rees_Mogg you need to resign you’re an actual piece of s*** I beg everyone watch this – MP Jacob Rees Mogg in a nutshell saying Grenfell Victims should of had the common sense to escape. I can’t believe the cheek f****** hell these politicians are actual aliens.
‘My man said ‘if either of us were in fire, whatever the fire brigade said, we’d leave a burning building’ as if to say ‘come on bro, they were just dumb’ as if those who lost their lives weren’t smart enough to escape. F****** hell this man is the scummiest.’
‘You can’t even make this stuff up. Donny said ‘If you JUST ignore what you’re told and leave you are so much safer’ BRUV!!!!! Let’s bare in mind for 2 secs how horrifying and terrifying the situation would of been for the victims. Deep that for 2 secs.’
The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said that Boris Johnson has confidence in Mr Rees-Mogg, the Leader of the Commons, adding that he had apologised.
Stormzy attacked Jacob Rees-Mogg for his comments on the Grenfell Tower disaster and told him to ‘resign’
The rapper on stage at the Kiss Haunted House Party held at the SSE Wembley Arena on Friday
However, it was reported last night that Downing Street is considering ordering Mr Rees-Mogg to give up his monthly slot on LBC as it looks to ‘rein in’ his broadcast appearances.
Earlier yesterday, Mr Rees-Mogg apologised for his comments and added: ‘What I meant to say is that I would have also listened to the fire brigade’s advice to stay in at the time’.
However, with what we know now and with hindsight I wouldn’t and don’t think anyone else would. I would hate to upset the people of Grenfell if I was unclear in my comments’.
Labour MP David Lammy, speaking to BBC’s Newsnight, slammed Mr Rees-Mogg’s comments as ‘unforgivable’ and called on him to resign.
He said: ‘I’m disgusted, shocked. I’m thinking about those poor people who lost their lives, including my friend Khadija. When you look through the report, it’s clear that many of them stayed put because they were advised to do so.
‘To describe them as lacking common sense is not just insensitive, it’s unforgiveable. These are people who had been complaining – about the building, the renovation, the conditions they were living in. It’s clear that there was flammable cladding.
‘We find out that there were firemen who could have knocked on doors, who didn’t. All the rest of it. And they lacked common sense?
‘It’s such a sort of arrogant and superior point of view: ‘those poor people in council houses’? Of course he should resign. It’s a scandal.’
‘Today you see what people like Jacob Rees-Mogg really think. And they basically think it was their fault. And I think that’s just ugly, and slightly sinister really. And time and time again, what lies under the surface is very different to what’s being said.’
Labour MP David Lammy, pictured at People’s Vote rally in October this year, described Mr Rees-Mogg’s comments as ‘unforgivable’
‘Of course he should apologise, but he actually should just go – because what he said and implied is so monstrous and horrible that an apology doesn’t even cut it.
‘It’s the fact that he could even think this and feel comfortable expressing it, about human life. How low do we have to go in our gutter politics in this country?
‘Do we not expect the highest standards of people who represent our country and lead us? What he said was really ugly, and he should just leave the scene. It’s horrible, and for victims and survivors really, really horrendous.’
The Tory’s MP’s words about the 2017 disaster in an interview last night and his error has overshadowed the start of his party’s general election campaign, with Jeremy Corbyn seizing on his words and demanding he apologised.
Labour candidate Melanie Onn, who was MP for Grimsby, suggested his blunder is a gift to opposition parties.
She said: ‘The man’s a bloomin’ liability. His limited experience of what the country is means he will always be out of touch. #keephimonthecampaigntrail #dontassetstripthetoriesofmogg’.
Last week the scathing first report produced by the Grenfell Inquiry condemned fire chiefs’ slavish refusal to evacuate the burning building as it was revealed 55 of the 72 people who died in the fire were told to remain in their flats.
Sir Martin Moore-Bick declared the evacuation delay ‘cost lives’, with calls for commissioner Dany Cotton and other bosses to face prosecution.
Mr Rees-Mogg has upset families who lost loved ones in the worst fire in Britain for a generation.
He told host Nick Ferrari: ‘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.’
Ahmet Chellat, 62, who lost five relatives in the inferno that killed a total of 72 people, demanded the politician apologise.
He told the Mirror: ‘He has got to apologise. Who is going to challenge this man over saying this? What common sense is he talking about?’
Mr Chellat told the newspaper residents ‘died on the stairs’ trying to escape the burning building, despite LFB’s repeated calls for them to stay in their flats.
Yvette Williams, who chairs the campaign group Justice4Grenfell, branded the comments ‘appalling’.
Stormzy continued his Twitter barrage by calling politicians ‘scumbags’ who are ‘wicked and evil’
Jacob Rees-Mogg sparked fury after suggesting Grenfell Tower residents (pictured on the night of the fire left and in the days after right) who followed firefighters’ instructions to ‘stay put’ lacked ‘common sense’
She told the paper: ‘This is an appalling statement to make but unsurprisingly symptomatic of Rees Mogg’s ilk.
‘Rees-Mogg has a privileged background, what is his experience of living in social housing? How many tower blocks has he lived in?
‘To suggest that those who followed ‘his’ party’s instructions were not using ‘common sense’ is an absolute insult.’
She claims Mr Rees-Mogg’s Conservative colleagues were the ones who failed to act on residents’ concerns the tower block in Kensington, west London, was not safe.
Another victim support group Grenfell United described the comments as ‘extremely painful’ and ‘beyond disrespectful’.
Probing him further about the tragedy, presenter Mr Ferrari asked the politician if it was caused by ‘racism’ or ‘policies of class’, as has been suggested by some.
The leader of the House of Commons replied: ‘I don’t think so. I think the tragedy came about because of the cladding, leading to the fire racing up the building, and then was compounded by the ‘Stay Put’ policy.
Mr Rees-Mogg, 50, was slammed for the ‘insensitive’ comments on Nick Ferrari’s LBC radio show, with members of the community demanding an apology and declaring he ‘should be ashamed of himself’
‘And it seems to me that that is the tragedy of it. 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.
‘But 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.’
After the first report of the inquiry into the blaze was released, LFB commissioner Ms Cotton has refused to apologise for her ‘stay put’ commands that night.
London Fire Brigade boss Dany Cotton has faced calls to resign over her ‘stay put’ policy on the night of the inferno
Mr Rees-Mogg is pictured on LBC earlier this year in January
She said sorry for causing ‘additional hurt’ to families affected, but refused to quit and will instead retire next April with a possible pension of £2million.
Miss Cotton said she was ‘disappointed’ by Grenfell Inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick’s report for criticising named firefighters for their response.
She has vowed to stay on, arguing she wanted to ‘continue to protect the people of London’.
The Moore-Bick report concluded that the LFB breached national guidelines over its ‘gravely inadequate’ preparations and did not have a plan to evacuate the tower.
Asked if she would quit, Ms Cotton said: ‘No, I won’t. I will retire in six months’ time because my commitment is to making those changes, and if I resign I can’t do that.’
But Conservative MP Sir Mike Penning, who was a firefighter before he entered politics, said she must carry the can for the fatal advice to residents to ‘stay put’ in their homes as the blaze took hold.
He supported demands by relatives of the 72 people who died for Ms Cotton to leave her post – and said if she refused to do so, London Mayor Sadiq Khan should dismiss her.
But Matt Wrack, Fire Brigades Union general secretary, insisted it was politicians were in the wrong.
‘Residents were thrown into a terrifying, impossible situation at Grenfell – for Jacob Rees-Mogg to suggest it would be ‘common sense’ to ignore the advice that they were given was crass and insensitive,’ he said.
‘It was also callously irresponsible for a senior government figure to suggest that the public should ignore firefighters when they are in a fire.’