Grenfell Council ‘Did Not Hate The Poor’

Today the London Review of Books publishes a 60,000 word investigation into the Grenfell Tower fire. Written by Andrew O’Hagan, the piece draws on more than one million words of interview notes and ten months’ research to chronicle the tragedy. O’Hagan told the Today programme this morning:

“Like most people I came to this with an incredible sense of anger and dismay… there seemed to be so much editorialising going on from the beginning, from the very first hours of the fire people wanted faces on a wanted poster… much of that understandable dismay and anger, it couldn’t stand up alongside all the evidence… people wanted accusation to stand for evidence in this case, to call out the leader and the deputy leader of the council as being somehow patently responsible for this, it didn’t at all stand up to the evidence… people are away with the fairies if they think that people who work for councils in housing hate the poor… the evidence goes the other way, the council responded as well as they could under tremendously difficult circumstances.”

The report raises questions over the responses of the emergency services, especially the fire brigade’s ‘stay put’ policy. The Public Inquiry into Grenfell is ongoing. The immediate, crude politicisations of the disaster are unraveling…

Kensington Tories Ask Voters: How Important is Grenfell to You?

Kensington Tories are continuing to handle Grenfell with their customary sensitivity. They’ve sent this questionnaire to voters asking “how important” the tragedy is to them on a scale of nought to ten: “0 – not important at all, 10 – very important”. What do you reckon…

H/T @mshapland

McDonnell: Grenfell Was “Social Murder”

McDonnell is unapologetic and doubled down on calling Grenfell “murder” on Marr, this time dubbing it “social murder“. That’s a quote from Engels:

“society in England daily and hourly commits… social murder… it has placed the workers under conditions in which they can neither retain health nor live long”

Stay classy…

May: Cladding Began Under Blair Government

After Corbyn blamed the Grenfell fire on austerity – and by implication the Tories – Theresa May claimed that the cladding of buildings happened under Labour during the Blair years. Never let the facts get in the way of an opportunity to rile things up, eh Jezza…

Housing Minister Takes Pasting From Angry Grenfell Residents

Alok Sharma only got the housing brief the day before the Grenfell fire. Today he was on BBC2‘s Victoria Derbyshire programme to face questions from very angry residents, live on air. Brave decision to put him up…

Lammy Suggests Grenfell Cover-Up By Police and Emergency Services

In his defence it has been a stressful couple of weeks. But peddling conspiracies about the government and police is not exactly responsible…

Labour MPs Condemn McDonnell’s Grenfell Remarks

Shadow housing minister John Healey and veteran Labour MP Margaret Hodge have condemned John McDonnell’s remarks on the Grenfell tragedy, which he described as “murder” caused by “political decisions. Hodge said on the Daily Politics: “that is language of the hard left which is not done in my name”Still, good to rile up the nutters online.

Hospital Admits Sun Man Didn’t Impersonate Grenfell Relatives

An allegation made against a reporter working for the The Sun, whipped up by the Guardian and left-wing news sites, has turned out to be completely untrue. King’s College Hospital had “formally written” to IPSO to complain about a journalist who was accused of impersonating a friend or relative of a Grenfell victim while seeking an interview in the aftermath of the fire. The Sun strongly denied this at the time, and now the complaint has been withdrawn. A News UK spokesman said:

“They accepted that our reporter did not ‘impersonate relatives’ or ‘friends’. As a result of this the hospital has withdrawn any IPSO complaint.”

Will MediaGuardian, who sent this false allegation viral, ensure their correction is just as prominent?

May: We Failed Grenfell Victims, I’m Sorry

Humility from the PM during a sombre Queen’s Speech debate this afternoon.

Mirror Front Page Wrong

Theresa May certainly deserves criticism for the way she has handled the Grenfell fire. But this front page claiming she didn’t meet survivors is just plain wrong. May met survivors yesterday in two separate visits…

Corbynistas Peddle Grenfell D-Notice Fake News

Prominent Corbynistas have been peddling false claims this afternoon that the government has issued a D-Notice preventing the reporting of the death toll from Grenfell. The lie was reported by the prominent Corbynista site Skwawkbox, which claimed “multiple sources told the Skwawkbox that the government has placed a ‘D-notice’ on the real number of deaths in the blaze”. The ‘story’ was also promoted on Twitter by journalists from two other viral Corbynista sites, Evolve Politics and Novara Media.

A spokesman for the Defence and Security Media Advisory Committee, the body which issues D-Notices, told Guido this afternoon:

“The Secretary of the Defence and Security Media Advisory Committee has not issued any D-Notice in relation to Grenfell.”

These Corbynistas, who work closely with Jeremy Corbyn’s office, are lying to their readers. They are deliberately peddling knowingly false conspiracies to suggest some government plot about Grenfell, and getting thousands of hits off the back of it. Astonishingly low stuff.

UPDATE: Evolve Politics strenuously deny they promoted the story “anywhere on its pages”. We do not contest that. Staff did however tweet about it and then delete the tweets…

UPDATE 6 August, 2017: This is revealing from a former Assistant Editor:

Tom was also outraged by supposed ‘slander’ when Evolve were accused by Media Guido of sharing an incorrect ‘D-notice’ story regarding Grenfell Tower. He put grand gestures all over social media, asking lawyers to get in touch, saying Evolve were going to sue for defamation etc. Trouble is, the claims were NOT wrong. Team members at Evolve HAD in fact shared the false ‘D-notice’ story. They’d just deleted it before anyone noticed. Yet again, Tom just wanted to look far nobler than he actually was, even if it meant taking hypocrisy to a whole new level.

Evolve Politics lied about the affair and threatened to sue us for telling the truth. Can’t get more fake than that…



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Quote of the Day

Dominic Raab wrote in his letter of resignation…

“This is, at its heart, a matter of public trust,” he told the PM, concluding: “I cannot reconcile the terms of the proposed deal with the promises we made to the country in our manifesto at the last election… I believe that the regulatory regime proposed for Northern Ireland presents a very real threat to the integrity of the United Kingdom. I cannot support an indefinite backstop arrangement, where the EU holds a veto over our ability to exit…”

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