Michael Gove lashed out at Lewis Hamilton’s Formula One team, accusing them of signing a partnership agreement with the firm that makes Grenfell Tower’s combustible insulation.
Mercedes-AMG Petronas and Kingspan reached an agreement that was widely condemned by victims of the inferno as well as politicians.
Hamilton’s racing car in Saudi Arabia will have the company logo on it. This weekend’s Grand Prix will see Hamilton wear a rainbow helmet to protest the Saudi kingdom’s discrimination against LGBT rights.
Michael Gove accused Lewis Hamilton’s Formula One team of signing a partnership agreement with the firm that makes the combustible insulation in Grenfell Tower. (Photo taken at the Qatar Grand Prix, November).
Kingspan K15 insulation was used during Grenfell Tower refurbishment
Gove, Communities Secretary, said that he will write to Mercedes to request it reconsider its sponsorship deal. He also stated that it was deeply disappointing it accepted the sponsorship.
He said that the Grenfell community deserved better and that they have the right to be deeply hurt by this decision.
He stated that he and his Cabinet colleagues would keep the system under continuous and careful review in order to make sure the advertising program remains appropriate and serves the public’s best interests.
“I’m aware that Parliament might not support a legal regime which allowed a core participant to a public inquiry into how 72 people died to promote its products to millions of families throughout the country.
“The British success story is represented by the achievements of Sir Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes in recent years. We are proud of them.”
“I wish you would reconsider this commercial partnership, which could undermine all the positive work that the company has done for sport and the country.”
Lisa Nandy (Screen levelling-up secretary) said that Hamilton should make his views clear to the Kingspan officials.
Nandy stated that she supported Gove’s criticism but wrote to him to ask him for the same principled position in regard to the Conservative Party’s decision to accept millions of pounds from developers who own flats which have been covered with the same ACM cladding since 2017.
When asked if Hamilton should make a statement about the sponsors of his team, Ms Nandy said that Hamilton shouldn’t. She also stated that she believes Hamilton is entitled to speak out.
Gove stated that the Communities Secretary would contact the Mercedes-Benz team and ask them to reconsider their deal. (Photo: Last month)
Grenfell has had Lewis Hamilton as an ally. This issue has been raised before.
“I think he will do that behind-the scenes. But the important thing is that we all, from across the political spectrum, increase the pressure so that it doesn’t happen.
“It’s deeply offensive to those who have lost all four years before. They were very invisibile within the political system.
“That’s what enabled this to take place in the first places.
“We need to make it clear that they don’t exist anymore and that their lives are important and we stand beside them throughout this inquiry.”
Toto Wolff, the principal of Mercedes Team has apologized to Grenfell survivors as well as bereaved family members in light of criticisms about the agreement.
He thanked campaign group Grenfell United for their offer to meet following their condemnation of the deal with Kingspan.
Wolff wrote to apologize for the “additional pain” caused by the Kingspan announcement.
Lisa Nandy, shadow levelling-up secretary, said that she hopes Hamilton makes his views “clearly understood”
Kingspan’s K15 insulation was installed at Grenfell Tower in its renovation, but the bulk of insulation on the tower block west of London was provided by an alternative company.
Investigating how Grenfell Tower became coated with flammable substances, which led to flames that destroyed the Tower in June 2017, killing 72 persons.
Grenfell United wrote Wolff asking him to stop the Kingspan deal.
Wolff wrote to the group in a post on social media, thanking them for their letter regarding Kingspan’s partnership. He also said that he received it yesterday.
“The Grenfell Tower Fire tragedy was too terrible for me to imagine, and should not have occurred.”
“On behalf of my team, I would like to express our deepest regrets for any additional pain caused by this announcement.
“It wasn’t our intention to do that.”
“The public inquiry is essential to determine the causes of this tragedy.”
Wolff stated that his team had engaged with Kingspan to learn more about the role of Kingspan’s products in Grenfell before concluding their partnership.
Toto Wolff (Mercedes team principal) has offered his apologies to Grenfell victims and their bereaved families following the outrage over the deal
He explained that Kingspan had stated that it was their responsibility to design and construct Grenfell Tower’s Cladding System. However, a small portion of their product was used in a subsystem that did not comply with Building Regulations.
He stated: ‘I know this doesn’t change in any manner the horrible tragedy you suffered or the deep and continuing pain felt by your community. And I want to thank Grenfell United, for offering to meet with me face-to-face to understand the situation better.
“I’m looking forward to meeting you as soon as possible.”
Hamilton wrote previously about Grenfell Tower’s fire via his Instagram account.
A picture was posted by him in 2020 with the caption: ‘Today marks 3 years since London’s terrible Grenfell Tower Fire.
“Remember the 72 people we have lost and their loved one, as well as all who were affected by this tragic event.”
Kingspan stated in a statement that the Grenfell Tower Fire was an unforseen tragedy. Kingspan support the crucial work of inquiry into what happened and why.
Lewis Hamilton will wear the rainbow helmet once more in support for the LGBTQ+ community
Kingspan had no involvement in Grenfell Tower’s cladding design. K15, Kingspan’s insulation product, made approximately 5%. Kingspan’s knowledge was lost when the substitute was applied to a system which wasn’t compliant with regulations.
“The partnership between Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team and Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula One Team reflects both organizations’ ambitious sustainability goals.”
Hamilton is eight points back of championship leader Max Verstappen and has a maximum 52 point advantage heading into the inaugural Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.
Next week, the final race in the season will take place in Abu Dhabi. Hamilton insists that if Hamilton is able to fight back and win the title it will be an unparalleled feeling.
He replied, “It would be for certain,” to being asked if it was possible to move clear of Michael Schumacher and win an eighth championship. This would make the title his best yet.
“It’s something that no one has done before. It’s the hardest battle in sport in a long, very long time. We are also in an epidemic and have all the challenges we’ve faced.
Hamilton will support the LGBTQ+ community by wearing a helmet that features rainbow and colored chevrons, just like he did in Qatar.
According to him, ‘As a driver, and as I stated at the previous race, I feel the sport is duty-bound to raise awareness about certain issues and human rights, especially in those countries where we will be going,’
“I have received warm respect from all those on the ground with the greatest respect.
“I cannot pretend to be an expert or possess the greatest understanding of any person who has grew up here.
“Do you feel safe here?” While I cannot say that I do feel at home here, it was the right decision of the sport to make. I think raising awareness is crucial.
“You saw my helmet during the last race. I’ll wear it again at this race. It is quite terrifying if you want to learn more about the laws that apply to the LGBT+ community.