TORY MP Andrew Bridgen has defended Jacob Rees-Mogg in the Grenfell row and suggested he would have escaped the fire because he’s “clever”.
The MP for North West Leicestershire was forced to sorry after he tried to explain the Commons Leader’s “clumsy” comments.
Mr Rees-Mogg sparked fury after he said he would have ignored the Fire Brigade’s “stay put” policy and quit the building as it was “common sense”.
“I think if either of us were in a fire, whatever the fire brigade said, we would leave the burning building,” he said.
“It just seems the common sense thing to do. And it is such a tragedy that that didnt happen.”
As the Tories launch their election campaign today:
- Boris Johnson compared Jeremy Corbyn to Stalin and will urge voters to dump MPs who are blocking Brexit
- Civil servants stopped the PM from releasing a Treasury analysis of Labour’s policies
- The PM upset Tory moderates by binning a pledge to let MPs vote on whether to extend the Brexit transition period beyond 2020
- Labour’s Keir Starmer gave a car-crash interview on the partys muddled Brexit policy but the Tories were accused of doctoring a video clip of it
- Mr Corbyn was accused of peddling a flat-out lie after he claimed a trade deal with the US could cost the NHS 500million a week
Yesterday rapper Stormzy called on Mr Rees-Mogg to resign, topping off an awkward start to the Tories’ election campaign.
Speaking to Radio 4’s PM, Mr Bridgen said: 2Jacob is a good friend of mine and he is an extremely compassionate intelligent human being.
“His comments surrounding Grenfell were uncharacteristically clumsy but I think we have to put it into the context of Jacob.
“Jacob is a leader. He’s an authority figure and what he has failed to realise is that in a life-threatening and stressful situation most people will 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.
“And as we know, in regards to Grenfell that advice was flawed.”
The BBC presenter said was Mr Rees-Mogg suggested he was “cleverer” than those who died as he would have not taken their advice.
Mr Bridgen replied: “But we want very clever people running the country, and that is a bi-product of what Jacob is. And that is why he is in a position of authority.
“What he is actually saying is I would have made a better decision than the authority figures who gave that advice.”
‘I WAS WRONG’
This morning Mr Bridgen said: “I realise that what I said was wrong and caused a great deal of distress and offence.
“It was not my intention to do so, and I do no not want to add in any way to the pain that this tragic event has caused.
“I apologise unreservedly.”
Labour’s David Lammy said the comments were “unforgivable” and showed “gross superiority”.
Andrew Gwynne, Labour’s national campaign co-ordinator, said Mr Bridgen’s comments were “contemptible” and that he should be removed as a parliamentary candidate.
Boris Johnson has compared Jeremy Corbyn to Stalin over his hatred of wealth creators as he says the Tories will cheer, not sneer entrepreneurs if they are returned to power.
The Prime Minister says that the Labour leader demonises billionaires with a relish and a vindictiveness not seen since the former Soviet leader.
Writing in the Daily Telegraph today he said Brexit would unlock hundreds of billions of pounds of investment in the UK, but Labour would “hold the country back”.
He will meet the Queen later to formally dissolve Parliament before making a speech outside No10 and heading to a campaign rally in the Midlands.
But the Tories were under fire this morning for editing a video of Labour’s Keir Starmer on GMB yesterday.
The leftie Brexit boss was unable to explain his party’s policy on the show, but the Tories edited the video to be shorter, implying he did not answer the question at all.
James Cleverly defended it this morning, saying it was “light hearted” and “satirical”.
And a top civil servant has blocked the Government from releasing an analysis of Labour’s policies, saying it was too close to an election to do so.
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