George Osborne thinks the austerity he imposed on the UK had nothing to do with the Grenfell Tower fire, it has emerged.
The David Cameron-era Chancellor turned London Evening Standard editor said “instant experts” have “rushed to blame” the blaze on cutbacks by the local council, the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC).
In an interview with Esquire, it was also claimed Osborne also told allies he would not stop attacking Theresa May until she is “chopped up in bags in my freezer”.
“I was sceptical of the instant experts in other papers who rushed to blame the whole thing on Kensington and Chelsea Council saving costs,” he said, reportedly claiming the flammable cladding was in use in the UK long before austerity had an impact.
“It’s the kind of sloppy journalism I’m trying to get my paper, at least, away from.
“The failure was a massive failure of fire standards over many, many years, and that is a scandal we’ve talked about.”
RKBC chose the cheaper, more flammable cladding - widely believed to have allowed the fire to spread rapidly across the building’s exterior - of two options.
It saved the authority almost £300,000 on an £8.6m refurbishment project at a time when local authority budgets were under pressure.
The graphic phrase about the Prime Minister was said to have been relayed to Esquire by an Evening Standard staffer.
Osborne was a guest on ITV’s overnight general election night coverage.
After the exit poll revealed that the Conservatives were in line for a disastrous result, Osborne described Theresa as a “dead woman walking”.