Jeremy Clarkson addresses ‘evil’ Baron’s ‘you can afford it’ jibe after his flat complaint

Jeremy Clarkson discusses his recovery from coronavirus

Jeremy Clarkson, 60, has been left unable “to concentrate” after it emerged that insurance prices for homes in high rise flats would face insurance bill hikes. The increase in price has, according to the motor expert, come as a “result of the Grenfell fire” that occurred in 2017.

Not sure the evil Baron is the one for the job

Jeremy Clarkson

Jeremy claimed his insurance bill for his flat in a six-story building has increased from £8,000 a year to £60,000.

He first expressed his outrage in his The Sun column, which prompted a blunt response from Baron Stephen Greenhalgh.

The latter was appointed an unpaid Minister of State jointly at the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government and the Home Office in March last year.

Jeremy has now hit back: “When I found out, I made some noises in The Sun, and immediately a government housing wallah called Baron Greenhalgh went on Twitter to say I can afford it.”

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Despite his net worth being estimated to be around £48 million, the star says he does not want to pay more than he feels is fair.

He continued: “Yes, Your Baronness. I could also afford to buy every corner shop in Hartlepool, but that doesn’t mean I want to. 

“And, anyway, as you acknowledge, most of the tens of thousands of people affected by these gigantic insurance premium hikes cannot. And I really do mean gigantic. Some have gone up by 1,200 per cent.” 

Jeremy noted that eventually, prices should decrease once developers realise that everyone will flock to an apartment block with cheaper insurance prices. However, until then he believes there should be a conversation about the issue involving like-minded people.

“I’m not sure that the evil Baron Greenhalgh is the man for the job, but we do need someone kind to sit down in a room with everyone involved and say: “Out of the goodness of our hearts, we simply must do something about this,” he added in his Sunday Times column.

On the 17th of June 2017, a fire broke out in Grenfell Tower and caused 72 deaths.

It was the deadliest structural fire in the United Kingdom since the 1988 Piper Alpha disaster and the worst UK residential fire since the Second World War.

The fire was started by a malfunctioning fridge-freezer on the fourth floor. It spread rapidly up the building’s exterior, bringing fire and smoke to all the residential floors.

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This was due to the building’s cladding, the external insulation and the air gap between which enabled the stack effect. The fire burned for about 60 hours before finally being extinguished. 

The investigation into the cause of the fire and other related issues is ongoing.

However, since then the government has commissioned an independent review of building regulations and fire safety, which published a report in May 2018. 

Across the UK, local governments have investigated other tower blocks to find others that have similar cladding. 

It has also resulted in many facing huge surges in their insurance costs, some by as much as 800 per cent a year after their buildings were discovered to have fire safety defects.

The Times reported that “about 700,000 people” continue to live in flat blocks 18m or taller clad in combustible materials.

Jeremy is currently based in the Cotswolds where he has opened his Diddly Squat Farm shop.

The TV star resides with his girlfriend Lisa Hogan, situated on a 312-acre site the presenter reportedly bought in 2012 for £4.25 million.  

The property is just down the road from his long-time friend and former Prime Minister David Cameron, who has a home in the village of Dean.

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