A Labour election candidate has reported Tory-turned-Liberal Democrat Sam Gyimah to the police over “inaccurate and dangerous” allegations about her role in the Grenfell.
Emma Dent Coad – a Jeremy Corbyn ally who won Kensington and Chelsea in 2017 – has made the complaint after Gyimah told City A.M. that she and other Kensington Council members were a part of “conversations” around cladding that led to the fire.
Gyimah is standing against Dent Coad in Kensington and Chelsea in the General Election.
Dent Coad has referred Gyimah to the police over the allegations on the grounds that they are “factually inaccurate, libellous” and could subject her to violence.
She had given Gyimah days to apologise and retract the comments, however he has refused to do so.
“Playing politics with Grenfell is disgraceful, and he should be ashamed of himself and Jo Swinson should put a stop to it immediately,” she said.
“I have contacted him privately to demand that he apologise and retract his inaccurate and dangerous statement, but he is refusing to do so.
“I am looking into taking legal action against him if he fails to retract his comments and apologise.”
Gyimah made the original allegations in response to questioning around the Conservatives’ culpability for Grenfell.
The 43-year-old was formerly a Tory minister, before joining the Liberal Democrats in September.
“Many things went wrong and, by the way, Emma Dent Coad was on the council and was part of all the discussions that went on in terms of cladding,” he said.
“To just say ‘of course it’s the Tory government’ – well, the council is responsible, and there were Labour councillors there who could have stopped some of the decisions and didn’t.”
A Liberal Democrat spokesperson did not deny that Gyimah refused to apologise or retract the statements.
“The Liberal Democrats have had no contact from the police,” they added.