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Tory MP defends Rees-Mogg by suggesting he’s ‘cleverer’ than Grenfell victims – Today News


 A Tory MP has defended Jacob Rees-Mogg’s remarks about Grenfell after saying he was “cleverer” than the victims of the disaster  Mr Rees-Mogg “profoundly” apologised for suggesting Grenfell victims should have used “common sense” and ignored fire service guidance not to leave the burning tower block  Mr Rees-Mogg’s apology came after an LBC appearance on Monday, during which the Commons leader had discussed London Fire Brigade’s (LFB) ‘stay-put’ policy and said: “If you just ignore what you’re told and leave you are so much safer  “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 ”  Tory MP Andrew Bridgen defended the Commons leader’s comments, suggesting he would have made a “better decision than the authority figures who gave that advice ”    And he said: “We want very clever people running the country, don’t we?”  He told BBC Radio 4’s PM programme: “He is an extremely intelligent and compassionate human being and his comments regarding Grenfell were uncharacteristically clumsy but we have to put them into the context of Jacob  “Jacob is a leader, he is an authority figure and what he has failed to realise is that in a life-threatening and stressful situation most people, most of the public, will probably defer to the advice of an authority figure – be that someone from the fire authority or the police – and not come to their own conclusions  “As we know with regard to Grenfell, that advice was flawed.”  Host Evan Davies told Mr Bridgen people had taken issue with the suggestion that Mr Rees-Mogg would not have died because he was “cleverer” than the people who took the fire brigade’s advice, Mr Bridgen said: “But we want very clever people running the country, don’t we, Evan?  “That is a by-product of what Jacob is and that is why he is in a position of authority  “What he’s actually saying is that he would have given a better decision than the authority figures who gave that advice ”     Labour MP David Lammy called on Mr Rees-Mogg 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 ”  He added: “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.”

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