Friday 17 January 2020

This is what happened at the Grenfell Tower meeting last night

The Kensington and Chelsea Council session was scrapped at the last minute.

The scene outside the council meeting (Lauren Hurley/PA)
The scene outside the council meeting (Lauren Hurley/PA)

By Jessica Pitocchi

The first cabinet meeting for Kensington and Chelsea Council since the Grenfell Tower blaze was called off at the last minute.

Before the session was abruptly brought to a close, under-pressure leader Nicholas Paget-Brown apologised for the authority’s response to the tragedy in which at least 80 people died.

Paget-Brown made the call to scrap the meeting once journalists turned up.

Despite reporters being allowed access following a High Court order – initially they were barred from attending, as were members of the public – Paget-Brown claimed the presence of the media would “prejudice” the forthcoming public inquiry.

While the meeting was taking place, Labour councillor Robert Atkinson, whose ward includes Grenfell Tower, laid into the authority’s leader, yelling: “An absolute fiasco, this is why I am calling for your resignation.”

“Our reputation is absolutely in the gutter,” another councillor in the room said.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the council’s decision to abandon the meeting “beggars belief”.

It was a sentiment echoed on social media.

PA Media

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