Council chief quits over response to Grenfell fire

The chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea council has resigned following criticism of its response to the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy.

In a statement, Nicholas Holgate said: "Serving the families so desperately affected by the heartbreaking tragedy at Grenfell Tower remains the highest priority of the council."

He said there is a "huge amount" still to do for the victims "in very challenging circumstances".

He added: "If I stayed in post, my presence would be a distraction.

"I strongly believe that councillors and officers have always endeavoured to have the interests of our residents at heart and will continue to do so."

Mr Holgate said the Communities and Local Government Secretary Sajid Javid had "required the leader of the council to seek my resignation".

Leader of the Council Nicholas Paget-Brown said: "It is with great regret that I have today accepted Nicholas Holgate's resignation.

"Like everyone else, the Council has been grief stricken by the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire and has sought to provide the greatest level of support we can to victims.

"That is a huge challenge and Nicholas has led from the front in seeking to do this. However, the Council will now need to work in a new way with different partners to take this forward."