Tory behind Grenfell cladding downgrade hosts lavish party just before 2nd anniversary of fire

EXCLUSIVE: Rock Hugo Basil Feilding-Mellen, the Tory councillor who oversaw Grenfell’s refurbishment, invited actress Rosamund Pike and John Lennon’s musician son Sean to his 40th bash

https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/grenfell-torys-star-studded-party-16520379

By Alan Selby 14 JUN 2019

Rock Hugo Basil Feilding-Mellen (known in Ladbroke Grove as ‘Cock Wielding Felon’) organised the bash

The Tory councillor who oversaw Grenfell’s refurbishment has been slammed for throwing a star-studded party at his family’s country pile weeks before the horror’s two-year anniversary.

Rock Hugo Basil Feilding-Mellen’s 40th birthday bash saw a who’s who of socialites and stars descend on Stanway House in Gloucestershire, including actress Rosamund Pike and John Lennon’s musician son Sean.

Photos on social media showed millionaires rubbing shoulders at his mum’s 5,000-acre Jacobean manor as families prepared themselves to commemorate the tragedy that killed 72.

Grenfell United, the survivors and bereaved families group, said: “Seeing these pictures is like a gut punch.

“We are no closer to justice, yet people that should be answering questions for the deaths of 72 people and the devastation of our community are living without consequence. It’s disgraceful.

“Because of what was done to us there are 72 birthdays we didn’t celebrate this year and two children who never made it to their first.”

Edward Daffarn lived in Grenfell Tower and almost lost his life in the fire.

He said: “It makes me feel like I did when reading the following quote from the Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald: ‘they were careless people…they smashed up things and creatures and then retreated back into their money or their vast carelessness or whatever it was that kept them together and let other people clear up the mess that they made’.”

A source who revealed the party had taken place said: “I’m just appalled at the arrogance of these people revelling in the run-up to the Grenfell anniversary.

“There are seventy-two people who’ll never have another birthday.”

Moyra Samuels, of the Justice 4 Grenfell campaign, said Rock Feilding-Mellen’s decision to hold a party with his rich and famous pals just three weeks before the two year anniversary of the fire showed he was “morally bankrupt”.

She said “He’s quite indifferent to the impact that such a thing might have on a grieving and quite sensitive community. He’s oblivious, continuing to act as if it is of no consequence that 72 people died.

“He lives in an elite and removed world, and always has, even though he was he was based not far from the tower.

“He’s been raised, nurtured and brought up with this entitled attitude.

“It comes as no surprise, but it is indicative of the fact that actually people like him who were involved in the council at the time of the fire and made some serious decisions that influenced what happened are still continuing to act as if it is of no consequence that 72 people died.

“They think this should not change their lives, and they will continue to indulge.”She added: “You would have thought this would be a time to show some sensitivity and some subtlety.”

Moyra, a teacher, said as the inquiry into the fire dragged on slowly the community felt justice was being denied as key decision makers like Mr Feilding-Mellen moved on with their lives and escaped sanction.

She said: “Every aspect of the procedure of justice and truth has been thwarted, in all sorts of ways, by a ruling, privileged elite who indicate to this community and, quite frankly, the rest of the country, that they don’t have any shame in them.”

 

Fielding-Mellen did not comment when approached by the Mirror.

Mr Feilding-Mellen was deputy mayor of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea during the refurbishment of the tower, and was the chairman of the housing committee.

He reportedly urged refurbishment consultants in 2014 to reduce costs on cladding.

At that point £300,000 was cut from a £10 million budget and now-banned flammable aluminium panels were to be installed, rather than the zinc cladding which was originally planned.

After being elected to Kensington in 2006 Mr Feilding-Mellen became deputy leader in 2013 and took a seat on the powerful major planning development committee.

In 2015 he warned that the council’s housing redevelopment programme would need to be completed “with no recurrent cost to the general council taxpayer”.

After news of his involvement in the Grenfell refit emerged he was forced to flee his family’s £1.2million Kensington home in the wake of the fire, fearing for his family’s safety.

He stood down as deputy mayor of the borough after the fire, and left the council at last year’s local elections.

Days after Grenfell, in 2017, he told friends he was cancelling plans to visit Stanway House for the 30th birthday of his step-sister Mary Charteris, who is a model and member of the band The Big Pink.

Those who did go to Mary’s party included Cara Delevingne, actor Jaime Winstone and aristocrats including Scarlett Spencer-Churchill.

Mr Feilding-Mellen, known as Rocky, is the son of Amanda Feilding, the Countess of Wemyss and March.

He is the great-great-great-grandson of the seventh Earl of Denbigh and a direct descendant of the Hapsburgs.

Amanda Feilding is an outspoken critic of drugs policy, and campaigns on the benefits of LSD and cannabis.

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