This week, Emma Dent Coad, the Labour MP for Kensington, called for Sir Martin Moore-Bick to be replaced as head of the Grenfell Tower inquiry. The reason? He does not ‘understand human beings’.
Happily, her appearance on the Sunday Politics this morning presented an opportunity for Dent Coad to elaborate on her comments. Yet aside from the well reported ruling Moore-Bick made in a housing case in 2014, Dent Coad did not seem to have that much evidence for her claim. In fact, in the interview with Andrew Neil, it soon transpired that she hadn’t actually met the judge:
AN: This judge leading the Grenfell inquiry, have you met him?
EDC: I haven’t met him, no.
AN: So what evidence do you have that he doesn’t, in your words, understand human beings?
EDC: Well, I’m reflecting what people are telling me out there. As soon as his name was announced, everybody looked up his credentials and so on. They found a particular case that he’d been involved in, the very issue that people are most worried about post-Grenfell is that they’ll be moved our of the borough somewhere else. This whole issue about social cleansing and it was very insensitive to choose someone with that on his record. Whether or not he made that decision according to the rules is irrelevant.
AN: It’s one judgment in a long career and he may well be able to defend what he did. But you’ve said that he doesn’t understand human beings yet you’ve just said that you’ve never met him.
EDC: It’s nothing to do with meeting him, I don’t approve of the kind of system
AN: Well, how would you know otherwise.
EDC: I don’t approve of the kind of system where people have to be friends in order to work together. Judge by the evidence, judge by what people have done.Judge by merit.
AN: But what has he done wrong in his career?
EDC: The issue he made a decision about is symbolic. It’s not my judgment. I’m reflecting the community – who have been betrayed.
AN: So you don’t think – in your own view – that he doesn’t understand – human beings?
EDC: No, personally I do.
Mr S hopes Dent Coad will find time to meet Moore-Bick and give him a chance to allay her concerns.