OPINION
11/11/2019 11:52 GMT

I Lost Family In Grenfell. If The Conservatives Really Cared, They Would Sack Jacob Rees-Mogg

If you are serious about rectifying the wrongs against us, make an example of the Leader of the House of Commons, and MP Andrew Bridgen, Clarrie Mendy writes.

AP
grenfell tower

To the co-chairs of the Conservative party, James Cleverly & Ben Eliot,

Recent comments by MPs Jacob Rees-Mogg and Andrew Bridgen have brought insult and dismay to me as someone who lost two family members in the Grenfell Tower fire, Mary Mendy and Khadija Saye.

The suggestion by Rees-Mogg that they, and other residents, lacked the common sense to leave the burning building is an utter betrayal of the loved ones we lost. It is the final straw compounding a litany of failures which saw flammable cladding put on Grenfell Tower, rehousing of families torturously drawn out and an inquiry set up in which the families and residents have had to lobby the government to ensure it meets our needs every step of the way.

My deceased family members cannot speak for themselves and the Conservative MPs’ comment are an insult to their memory, to the lives they lived. There are no words to express the unbearable pain their comments have caused our family.

The pain of their words cannot be rectified by an apology, no matter how profuse or how grovelling. It appears your party has learnt nothing from your manifesto commitment to “stand up to those in positions of power who abuse that privilege”, which was quoted in the report to ensure the pain and suffering of the Hillsborough families is not repeated.

The Grenfell community is still suffering. Such comments give an insight into what many of us have feared: that our family members were treated as second class citizens and the residents’ appeals for fire safety from the local Conservative-led council prior to the disaster were ignored, because they were considered less equal. 

I believe the comments of Rees-Mogg and Bridgen should disqualify them from standing for public office. I therefore call on the Conservative party to finally step up and do the right thing, and do it quickly.

Grenfell is a scar that will take generations to heal. If you are serious about rectifying the wrongs against us, make an example of both and withdraw them as candidates before the nomination deadline this Thursday 14 November. 

I and many affected by the Grenfell fire spend the 14th of every month reliving the pain and trauma of what we suffered on the 14 June 2017.

This month, I will be watching to see whether finally, over two years later, you are capable of taking the steps necessary to do right by my family that your successive governments have, so far, failed to do so abysmally. 

Don’t let us down again,

Clarrie Mendy

Relative of Mary Mendy and Khadija Saye