Leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg

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PA Media

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Jacob Rees-Mogg made the comments on LBC’s Nick Ferrari show

Jacob Rees-Mogg has been criticised for saying it was “common sense” for residents to flee the Grenfell Tower, ignoring fire brigade advice.

The Leader of the House of Commons was appearing on a radio phone-in on the findings of a Grenfell inquiry report when he made the comments.

Seventy-two people died when a fire ripped through the tower block on 14 June 2017.

The Grenfell United group called the MP’s comments “insulting”.

Mr Rees-Mogg said he “profoundly apologised” for his comments.

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Seventy-two people died in the fire at Grenfell Tower in June 2017

Speaking on LBC’s Nick Ferrari’s show on Monday, 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.”

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called on Mr Rees-Mogg to “apologise for these crass and insensitive comments immediately”.

Mr Rees-Mogg said on Tuesday: “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. I would hate to upset the people of Grenfell if I was unclear in my comments.”

But in a statement, survivors’ group Grenfell United said: “The Leader of the House of Commons suggesting that the 72 people who lost their lives at Grenfell lacked common sense is beyond disrespectful.

“It is extremely painful and insulting to bereaved families.”

Grenfell inquiry chairman Sir Martin Moore-Bick said fewer people would have died if the London Fire Brigade (LFB) had taken certain actions earlier.

Sir Martin also criticised the LFB for following a “stay put” strategy, where firefighters and 999 operators told residents to stay in their flats for nearly two hours after the blaze broke out.

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