Fury as council cancels Grenfell Tower meeting after journalists were allowed in

Fury as council cancels Grenfell Tower meeting after journalists were allowed in

Many gathered outside as they tried to access the meeting

Friday, June 30, 2017

The 11th-hour decision to shelve Kensington and Chelsea council's first cabinet meeting since the Grenfell Tower disaster has been branded an "absolute fiasco".

Leader Nicholas Paget-Brown apologised for the authority's response to the tragedy before Thursday evening's (June 29) meeting was brought to an abrupt close.

He said: "I realise the council has come in for much criticism for its response. I will acknowledge this and apologise for what we could have done better."

At first journalists and the public were not allowed into the meeting, but reporters were then granted access following a High Court order.

Paget-Brown then scrapped the proceedings and claimed the presence of the media would "prejudice" a forthcoming public inquiry.

At the meeting, Labour councillor Robert Atkinson, whose ward includes Grenfell Tower, shouted at the authority's leader, saying: "An absolute fiasco. This is why I am calling for your resignation."

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said the scrapping of the meeting "beggars belief".

"You have a situation where that community have a deep level of mistrust of the local council, of national government and, if I'm being frank, people in positions of power and influence.

"One of the things the leadership of that council needs to do is reflect on their conduct...in the days afterwards. Frankly speaking, it's madness."

The public have also reacted with anger about the inquiry, as leader Sir Martin Moore-Bick suggested the focus of his investigation would likely be limited to the cause of the fire, why it spread and how a similar fire could be prevented in future.