The Chief executive of Britain’s Kensington and Chelsea council has resigned just hours after Prime Minister Theresa May criticised the council’s handling of last week’s Grenfell Tower fire.
Nicholas Holgate said Local Government Minister Sajid Javid had asked him to resign. Javid has not yet confirmed whether he did or not.
In a statement Holgate said: “There is a huge amount still to do for the victims of the fire, requiring the full attention of this Council and many others. If I stayed in post, my presence would be a distraction. “
RBKC</a> chief exec Nicholas Holgate who has quit after criticism of the council's response to the Grenfell Tower disaster. <a href="https://t.co/nRzPcPVuWJ">pic.twitter.com/nRzPcPVuWJ</a></p>— Press Association (PA) June 21, 2017
“Serving the families so desperately affected by the heart-breaking tragedy at Grenfell Tower remains the highest priority of the council,” he added.
At least 79 people have been confirmed dead after the fire engulfed the 24 storey tower building in west London. The death toll is expected to rise as the remains of more victims are identified.
Renovations works at the tower were inspected 16 times by the council yet the flammable cladding which has been blamed for spreading the flames was not removed.
Four government ministers were also warned that the existing fire regulations were inadequate, the BBC has reported.
On Wednesday Theresa May apologised in parliament for what she called “state failures” after the fire.
“People were left without belongings, without roofs over their heads, without even basic information about what had happened, what they should do and where they could seek help. That was a failure of the state, local and national, to help people when they needed it the most. As prime minister I apologise for that failure.”