James Brokenshire urges people to stop sharing 'repugnant' Grenfell bonfire video

James Brokenshire urges people to stop sharing 'repugnant' Grenfell bonfire video

A screengrab of the video showing four of the men present at the burning of the Grenfell Tower model

Monday, November 5, 2018

Housing secretary James Brokenshire has urged social media users not to keep sharing a video of a model of Grenfell Tower being burned on a bonfire.

The video began circulating on social media on Monday afternoon, and showed a group of people in a garden carrying a cardboard model of Grenfell Tower to a fire, and laughing as it burned.

“At a time when the bereaved and survivors are giving testimony to the Grenfell Inquiry and reliving the unimaginable horror of that tragedy, it beggars belief that anyone should do this,” said Mr Brokenshire in a statement.

“Those responsible for this repugnant material are beneath contempt.

“I know that the police have been made aware of this video and will work to establish whether any offences have been committed.

“I would urge people not to continue to share this video.”


Theresa May: 'Unacceptable'

Prime Minister Theresa May and home secretary Sajid Javid also condemned the video.

“This is disgusting, shameful, behaviour. These people are a disgrace,” Mr Javid wrote on Twitter.

“The survivors of the Grenfell tragedy have acted with unbelievable dignity and deserve the utmost respect.”

Mrs May tweeted: “To disrespect those who lost their lives at Grenfell Tower, as well as their families and loved ones, is utterly unacceptable.”


Police brand video 'vile'

In the video, four men are visible, while two more - a woman and a man - carry the cardboard model. The person filming the incident is not seen, but the name ‘Nick’ is repeatedly heard.

Images of the people are being shared on Facebook in an attempt to identify them.

Commander Stuart Cundy of the Metropolitan Police said: “I am frankly appalled by the callous nature of the video posted online. A total of 71 people died in the fire at Grenfell Tower, so many people lost so many loved ones, and many more have been deeply affected. To mock that disaster in such a crude way is vile.

“I can’t imagine the distress this video will undoubtedly cause to bereaved families and survivors.

“The Met’s Grenfell Tower investigation team is taking this matter very seriously. Any offences that have been committed will be fully investigated.

“If you have information about this gathering, or were present, please contact police via 101 or @MetCC.”

The Metropolitan Police further told talkRADIO they were aware of images of the people involved being shared on social media, and that their investigation was in its “early stages”.