James O'Brien 10am - 1pm
Stormzy calls on Jacob Rees-Mogg to resign over Grenfell comments
5 November 2019, 19:28
Stormzy has called Jacob Rees-Mogg a "piece of s**t" and told him he needs "to resign" following the politician's comments about the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
While speaking with LBC presenter Nick Ferrari on Monday, the Conservative politician suggested Grenfell Tower victims should have used "common sense" to ignore the London Fire Brigade's stay put policy.
He said: "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."
Mr Rees-Mogg has since "profoundly" apologised for his words but has been slammed by the Brit-award winning grime artist Stormzy, who took to Twitter to condemn the Leader of the House of Commons.
Stormzy told his 1.2 million followers that he thought the comments made by Mr Rees-Mogg implied the victims of Grenfell were "dumb."
He continued: "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*****g hell these politicians are actual aliens."
Referencing the LBC exchange, the grime artist continued: "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*****g hell this man is the scummiest."
The Grenfell Tower fire killed 72 people on 14 June 2017 and led to an independent public inquiry tasked with examining the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the blaze.
Fire Brigades Union Chief Matt Wrack told LBC's Eddie Mair the MP's words were "crass, insensitive and insulting to the people who live in Grenfell Tower" and "was an apology based on the criticism he has received."
Mr Rees-Mogg issued his apology in the Evening Standard and said he "would hate to upset the people of Grenfell" if his comments were unclear.
"I profoundly apologise," he said.
The ones who have no common sense are those who made decisions based on cost not on people's lives. Those who sit in ivory towers judging & making decisions for those who live in actual towers have shown that not only do they not have common but that they also lacked kindness.— Jess Phillips Esq., (@jessphillips) November 5, 2019
"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."
Fellow Tory MP Andrew Bridgen was criticised for defending the Leader of the House, saying Mr Rees-Mogg would have made a "better decision" than the authority figures who gave the victims advice on the night.
Mr Bridgen said: "Jacob is a good friend of mine and he is an extremely intelligent and compassionate human being and his comments regarding Grenfell were uncharacteristically clumsy.
"But I think we have to put them into the context of Jacob."
Mr Bridgen was quizzed on whether the North East Somerset MP was effectively saying he "wouldn't have died" because he "would be cleverer than the people who took the fire brigade's advice."
He replied: "But we want very clever people running the country, don't we Evan. That is a by-product of what Jacob is, and that's why he is in a position of authority.
"What he is actually saying is, he would have made a better decision than the authority figures who gave that advice."
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn was also highly critical of Mr Rees-Mogg, calling his comments "crass" and "insensitive," whilst Grenfell United said his "beyond disrespectful" words were "extremely painful and insulting to bereaved families."
Labour MP Jess Phillips also spoke on social media to say that Grenfell families "not only have common sense, they're dignified, smart, bright and kind."
She continued: "Thanks to the negligence they lived & died with they've faced unimaginable pain & have themselves become experts & community leaders. I'd rather anyone of them were the leaders of our country."
"The ones who have no common sense are those who made decisions based on cost not on people's lives. Those who sit in ivory towers judging & making decisions for those who live in actual towers have shown that not only do they not have common [sense] but that they also lacked kindness."
On Tuesday, the prime minister's official spokesperson said Boris Johnson has confidence in Mr Rees-Mogg following his comments.