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After deadly London tower block fire, local council chief resigns

Nicholas Holgate said he decided to quit despite his wish to have continued to lead on the executive responsibilities of the Kensington and Chelsea council in very challenging circumstances.

world Updated: Jun 22, 2017 12:37 IST
Reuters, London
London fire,Grenfell Tower,Nicholas Holgate
A man is apprehended by police officers as protestors gather in Parliament Square after marching through central London on June 21, 2017, during an anti-government protest to coincide with the State Opening of Parliament and following the deadly fire at Grenfell Tower. (AFP Photo)

The chief executive of a London borough where a tower block fire killed at least 79 people in Britain’s worst blaze since World War Two has resigned.

Nicholas Holgate, chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea council, said he was forced out by Prime Minister Theresa May’s government after the blaze at the 24-storey Grenfell Tower.

Holgate said in a statement the Communities minister Sajid Javid had required the leader of the council, Nicholas Paget-Brown, to seek his resignation.

“Despite my wish to have continued, in very challenging circumstances, to lead on the executive responsibilities of the Council, I have decided that it is better to step down from my role, once an appropriate successor has been appointed,” Holgate said.

On Wednesday, May said support for families in the initial hours after the fire was not good enough.

“That was a failure of the state, local and national, to help people when they needed it most,” she told parliament.

First Published: Jun 22, 2017 12:36 IST