After a barrage of criticism for its response to the Grenfell Tower fire tragedy, the chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea council has quit.
In a statement Nicholas Holgate said the communities and local government Secretary had "required the leader of the council to seek my resignation" on Tuesday (June 20).
He said he would have been a "distraction" if he remained in the post after the "heartbreaking tragedy", which left at least 79 people dead or missing and presumed .
Mr 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" and added: "If I stayed in post, my presence would be a distraction."
Conservative council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown said he accepted the resignation "with great regret" and added that "the council will now need to work in a new way with different partners to take this forward".
There has been a lot of anger over the official response to the deadly blaze from survivors and victims' families.
Theresa May has apologised for the failures by local and national government in reacting to the tragedy and will address the Commons on Thursday.
It came as inquests were opened and adjourned at Westminster Coroner's Court into the deaths of five victims.
Omar Belkadi, 32, died from inhaling fire fumes, while his wife, Farah Hamdan, 31, was killed by smoke inhalation.
They lived on the 20th floor of Grenfell Tower with their daughters Malek, seven, Tazmin, six, and Leena, just six months old.
The two eldest daughters were found in hospital by family members but the fate of their youngest girl remains unknown.
Abufars Ibrahim, 39, died of multiple injuries, while Anthony Disson, 65, and a 52-year-old woman, Khadija Khalloufi, both died from inhalation of fire fumes.
Earlier on Wednesday a funeral for 23-year-old Syrian refugee Mohammad Alhajali, the first victim to be identified, was attended by his family and London mayor Sadiq Khan.
The Grenfell Tower Response Team said 249 households are in emergency accommodation in hotels and £675,000 has been handed out to families affected by the disaster.
Chancellor Philip Hammond said he was "not privy" to any conversations between Mr Holgate and Sajid Javid over the council boss's resignation.
Asked whether it was "appropriate" for the Government to intervene, the chancellor told BBC Breakfast: "I can't speak for any conversations between the communities secretary and the chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council; all I know is that the chief executive has decided to resign.
"I don't know that my colleagues in Government spoke to him - I've not been privy to any conversation that may have occurred.
"But I think what the Prime Minister was pointing to yesterday was that we have an excellent set of first responses to emergencies in this country - our fire, our police, our NHS.
"Where we have seen during this terrible tragedy at Grenfell Tower that we are less well organised is around the second line of response - how we support the victims, how we deal with people who are, for example, made homeless by a disaster like this."
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