Backlash as Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes team inks deal with Grenfell Tower building firm

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The Communities Secretary Michael Gove has slammed Lewis Hamilton’s Mercedes Formula One team, after signing a partnership with a firm who installed insulation on Grenfell Tower.

Mercedes have joined forces with insulation company Kingspan who’s K15 insulation was used on Grenfell Tower, which devastatingly caught fire in 2017 killing 72 people after it was coated in flammable material.

Following the deal, cabinet minister Gove expressed his ‘disappointment’ with Mercedes for joining forces with the company, adding that he felt the Grenfell community ‘deserved better’.

Gove said: “Deeply disappointed that @MercedesAMGF1 are accepting sponsorship from cladding firm Kingspan while the Grenfell Inquiry is ongoing.

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“I will be writing to Mercedes to ask them to reconsider. The Grenfell community deserves better.”

Following the tragedy three and a half years ago an inquiry into the fire remains ongoing, as it continues to look into how, and why the building was covered in flammable materials.

Since Gove’s condemnation of the new partnership Kingspan themselves have released a statement, explaining they ‘support the vital inquiry’ looking into the main cause of the blaze.

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The statement read: “The Grenfell Tower fire was a tragedy that should never have happened, and Kingspan supports the vitally important work of the inquiry to determine what went wrong and why.”

The insulation company was also quick to distance themselves from the inadequate cladding system which led to the fire, adding that their material only constituted for just 5% of the tower’s insulation.

They added: “Kingspan played no role in the design of the cladding system on Grenfell Tower, where its K15 product constituted approximately 5% of the insulation and was used as a substitute product without Kingspan’s knowledge in a system that was not compliant with the building’s regulations.

“The new partnership with the Mercedes-AMG Petronas Formula 1 team reflects the ambitious sustainability targets of both organisations.”

As well as backlash from the government, Mercedes and star man Hamilton also received criticism from the survivors’ group Grenfell United after they wrote a letter to the Formula One team’s boss Toto Wolff.

The group said: “Kingspan played a central role in inflicting the pain and suffering that we feel today, and there must be a degree of public censure for Kingspan’s recklessness and carelessness for human life.”

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