SportF1The British government writes to Mercedes for the controversy...

The British government writes to Mercedes for the controversy with Kingspan

Ahead of the Saudi Arabian Grand Prix, Mercedes announced a new deal with international brand Kingspan , whose logos now appear on the Mercedes W12’s nose.

But since Kingspan is involved in the 2017 Grenfell Tower disaster, which claimed the lives of 72 people and is still at the center of controversy amid an ongoing public inquiry, there has been a backlash from those affected by the tragedy.

Aware that Kingspan’s K15 insulation was one of the products installed in the tower, lobbyist Grenfell United , made up of survivors and families of the deceased, wrote to Mercedes director Toto Wolff to reconsider that deal.

Wolff wrote them back, saying that while he remained committed to Kingspan’s sponsorship, he was willing to meet with those affected by the tragedy to understand more about the matter.

Now UK MP Michael Gove , who is the Secretary of State for Equalization, Housing and Communities, has also weighed in, urging Mercedes and Wolff to think twice.


In a letter to Wolff, which Gove posted on Twitter , he made it clear how disappointed he was with Mercedes’ decision to go ahead with the deal.

“Grenfell mourners, survivors and the community at large have been disappointed in the past by both the state and the private sector. They are right to be deeply hurt and aggrieved by their decision to sign this sponsorship agreement as the public inquiry,” he wrote.

Later in the same letter, Gove warned that Kingspan’s situation could be big enough to prompt the UK government to change the jurisdiction it has over advertising and sponsorship in sport.

While the current limitations primarily involve tobacco, alcohol and gambling- related products, Gove said he could not rule out government intervention to prevent deals like the Mercedes/Kingspan one from being allowed.

“As Secretary of State, the planning controls of outdoor advertising space in England are a legal responsibility that falls to me,” he wrote.

“Currently, advertisements displayed on enclosed grounds, such as inside sports stadiums, or those displayed on vehicles, are generally excluded from direct control by the relevant authorities.”

“My Cabinet colleagues and I will keep that system under constant and close review to ensure that the advertising regime remains fit for purpose and reflects the public interest.”

“I am aware that there are questions as to whether Parliament would support a legal regime that would allow a participant in a public inquiry into how 72 people lost their lives to publicly advertise their products to millions of families across the country.”

“The achievements of Mercedes and Sir Lewis Hamilton in recent years represent a British success story that we are all proud of. I hope they will reconsider this commercial partnership, which threatens to undermine all the good work that the company and the series have done.” .

Gove said he had also sent a copy of the letter to F1 chief executive Stefano Domenicali and Nadine Dorries MP , secretary for Digital Sport, Culture, Media and Sport.

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