Cllr Paget-Brown – resignation statement
The Grenfell Tower Fire has been possibly the worst tragedy London has seen since the end of the second world war. Nobody will ever forget what they saw that day and the horror that ensued for people trapped inside. Many questions about the cause of the fire and why it spread so quickly will need to be answered by the public enquiry. There are clearly national issues to address around regulation.
The scale of this tragedy was always going to mean that one borough alone would never have sufficient resources to respond to all the needs of the survivors – and those made homeless – on its own. We have been very lucky to have the support of other London boroughs, the emergency services and the community associations based in North Kensington and I am very grateful to all of them. This Council has also been criticised for failing to answer all the questions that people have. That is properly a matter for the public enquiry.
As Council Leader I have to accept my share of responsibility for these perceived failings. In particular, my decision to accept legal advice that I should not compromise the public enquiry by having an open discussion in public yesterday has itself become a political story and it cannot be right that this should have become the focus of attention when so many are dead or still unaccounted for.
I have therefore decided to step down as Leader of the Council as soon as a successor is in place. They will appoint a new Deputy Leader and Cabinet.
As I said yesterday, this is a huge human tragedy for so many families. The task for my successor is to ensure that the strengths which also characterise this place, and North Kensington in particular, are seen to play their part in bringing the community together and ensuring that this borough, the most wonderful place, can start to move forward from this tragedy.
Leader of the Council Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea