Jacob Rees-Mogg Apologises For "Common Sense" Remark Over Grenfell Tragedy

5 November 2019, 11:20 | Updated: 5 November 2019, 11:39

Jacob Rees-Mogg has apologised for suggesting Grenfell victims should have used "common sense" and ignored the fire brigade's instructions to stay in the burning building.

Survivors criticised the Leader of the House for the comments he made on the Ring Rees-Mogg phone-in on LBC yesterday.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari, Mr Rees-Mogg said: “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.”

Jacob Rees-Mogg has apologised for his comments
Jacob Rees-Mogg has apologised for his comments. Picture: PA / LBC

But Mr Rees-Mogg today told the Evening Standard: “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.

“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.”

Earlier, Grenfell survivor Natasha Elcock had told James O'Brien: "It absolutely infuriated us.

"The fact that he can allude to that if common sense had prevailed, then more people would have got out... I was one of those people who were faced with what happened that night.

"I made a call at 1.20am to the fire brigade and was told to stay where I was and it was under control. Twenty minutes later, we attempted to leave and on the 11th floor at that point, it was unescapable."