Michael Gove condemns Mercedes F1 deal with Grenfell insulation firm

·2 min read

Formula One team Mercedes has been criticised by a Cabinet minister for signing a partnership deal with a firm behind one of the insulations installed on Grenfell Tower.

Michael Gove said he would write to the Mercedes-AMG Petronas F1 team to ask them to reconsider the deal with Kingspan.

The Communities Secretary said it was “deeply disappointing” that the team – which Lewis Hamilton drives for – had accepted the sponsorship.

Kingspan’s K15 insulation was one of the products installed on Grenfell Tower during its refurbishment, although the majority of the insulation used on the west London tower block was made by another company.

An inquiry is examining how Grenfell Tower came to be coated in flammable materials which contributed to the spread of flames which shot up the tower in June 2017, killing 72 people.

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

“I will be writing to Mercedes to ask them to reconsider.

“The Grenfell community deserves better.”

In a statement Kingspan said: “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.

“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 buildings regulations.

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

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