Ulster Rugby urged to reconsider relationship with sponsor Kingspan

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  • Michael Gove
    British politician (born 1967)
A general view of Kingspan Stadium, Belfast. (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Wire)
A general view of Kingspan Stadium, Belfast. (Niall Carson/PA) (PA Wire)

A senior Conservative minister has written to Ulster Rugby asking them to reconsider their relationship with Kingspan after the firm’s products were used in Grenfell Tower where 72 people were killed in a fire four years ago.

The Irish insulation firm is the club’s shirt sponsor and also holds naming rights to their home stadium in Ravenhill in south Belfast.

The Grenfell Inquiry into the tragic fire at the London tower block heard evidence criticising Kingspan’s business practices.

Kingspan has said that its K15 insulation product made up only 5% of the insultation in the tower block, and was used without its recommendation.

It has also said that the exterior cladding, which it did not manufacture, was deemed by the inquiry to be the “principal reason” for how quickly the fire spread.

Michael Gove tweeted that he has written to Ulster Rugby to ask them to reconsider their relationship with Kingspan while the Grenfell Inquiry is ongoing.

Sharing a copy of the letter, he added: “I will continue to pursue justice and accountability for the Grenfell community and those affected by building safety crisis”.

Earlier this month, Formula One team Mercedes announced they had ended their sponsorship deal with Kingspan, saying it was “not appropriate” to continue the partnership.

An Ulster Rugby spokesperson confirmed that chief executive Jonny Petrie received a letter from Mr Gove.

“The information contained within will be considered as part of an existing active review, and we won’t be making any further comment at this time,” they said.

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