The Conservative party branch in the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea has been criticised for being "insensitive" and "out of touch" after it asked residents to rate the importance of the Grenfell fire tragedy between 0 (not important at all) and 10 (very important).
The residents' survey for Courtfield ward, put together by the Kensington, Chelsea & Fulham Conservatives (KCFC), surfaced online on Monday afternoon. Alongside the Grenfell tragedy, it also asks residents to rate a range of issues including affordable housing, recycling, and borough-wide parking permits.
The Grenfell fire, which broke out in June, left at least 80 people dead. Luke Francis, a Latimer Road resident who lives close to Grenfell Tower told BuzzFeed News the insensitivity of sending this kind of questionnaire to Kensington residents is simply staggering.
"By asking local people to rate ‘how important’ the Grenfell Tower tragedy was, the Conservatives have shown just how out of touch they really are with how our community feels," he said.
The survey follows the publication of the first report of the Grenfell Recovery Taskforce, which said Conservative-run Kensington and Chelsea council needed to train its staff to show "greater empathy and emotional intelligence".
"These attributes need to be put at the heart of [Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea] recovery plans. On too many occasions we have received accounts from survivors and the wider community of poor treatment," the report noted.
Julie Mills, chairwoman of the KCFC, is a Kensington and Chelsea councillor.
MP David Lammy also shared his thoughts on Twitter. "What is wrong with these people? What sort of society are we becoming? Yes @KCFConservative I still care about Grenfell and I'm bloody angry," he said.
And so did Lily Allen.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to the KCFC for comment.
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea declined to comment.
Fiona Rutherford is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
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