Grenfell Tower: Theresa May refuses to say whether Kensington and Chelsea council leader should resign

Authority's chief executive has already stepped down

Jon Sharman
Thursday 22 June 2017 14:14 BST
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Nicholas Paget-Brown
Nicholas Paget-Brown

Theresa May has refused to say whether the leader of Kensington and Chelsea council should resign following the Grenfell Tower fire.

Overnight on Thursday the authority's chief executive, Nicholas Holgate, stepped down after an intervention by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid.

In the House of Commons, Ms May was asked whether the political leader of the council, Nicholas Paget-Brown, should follow suit.

“That is a matter that will be considered by the appropriate group on Kensington and Chelsea council,” the Prime Minister said.

Mr Holgate said he wanted to stay on but admitted his continued presence in the wake of the fire could be a “distraction”.

Earlier this week Mr Paget-Brown was thought to have offered to resign, but colleagues backed him staying on.

“In the circumstances it has of course been appropriate to ensure that as leader... I continue to have the support of my colleagues,” he told the London Evening Standard.

At least 79 people are missing and presumed dead after the devastating fire that destroyed Grenfell Tower last Wednesday.

Liberal Democrat MP Tom Brake called for “political accountability” from the Conservative-run Kensington and Chelsea council.

He said: “No one is looking for a witch hunt, but if heads are starting to roll, they should be the right ones. There must be political accountability.”

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