A council meeting was scrapped on Thursday night (June 29) after members of the press, who had previously been banned, gained access to the meeting after winning a High Court order .
There was also anger as members of the public were prevented from attending the meeting held by senior councillors to discuss the fatal Grenfell Tower fire.
Council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown said: "We can't have an unprejudiced discussion in this room with the public inquiry that is about to take place if journalists are recording and writing our comments."
We will be bringing you updates throughout the day on our blog.
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Council leader "had to go"
Content editor André Langlois has written an opinion piece on why the leader had to step down after Thursday’s events.
Most concerning about this subplot of a horrific disaster is the question of why the council leadership changed its story.
The meeting was to be private so that it would not be “disrupted” by protesters.
The meeting was abandoned because had open democracy been exercised, it would have “prejudiced” a judge.
Which is it?
If there were always two reasons, why was that not made explicit from the start?
Read the full text here.
Here is our story on the council leader’s resignation.
The decision follows a rebuke from Downing Street over the abandonment of a meeting on Thursday night after a judge told the council the media must be allowed in.
Breaking - leader to quit
Kensington and Chelsea Borough Council leader Nicholas Paget-Brown has said he
is stepping down following criticism of the response to the Grenfell Tower
CEO steps down
The chief executive of the organisation which manages Grenfell Tower has agreed to “step aside” so he can “concentrate on assisting with the investigation and inquiry”.
A statement from the Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) confirmed Robert Black’s position, two days after retired court of appeal judge Sir Martin Moore-Bick was appointed to lead the public inquiry into the deaths of at least 80 people.
It said: “The board wishes to ensure that KCTMO remains best positioned to fully co-operate and assist with the inquiry and so it has agreed with its chief executive, Robert Black, that Mr Black should step aside from his role as chief executive of KCTMO in order that he can concentrate on assisting with the investigation and inquiry.
“In order to ensure that KCTMO can continue to provide services for its other residents, the board has agreed that an interim chief executive should be appointed to carry out this role.”
Artworks have been created in the area around Grenfell Tower, in tribute to the victims.
Advice from Royal Mail for those affected by the Grenfell Tower fire
Council will "explore opportunities for open discussions"
Following the cabinet meeting, the council has released the following statement:
The Royal Borough’s Cabinet met today [June 29].
It started with a minute’s silence in memory of the victims of the Grenfell Tower tragedy.
The Leader then read out a statement which has now been published.
The Cabinet meeting was arranged as a Private Meeting because of the potential public disorder and the assaults on staff after the protests at the Town Hall in the previous weeks.
However, members of the press sought and acquired an injunction which was served on the Council shortly before the Cabinet meeting started.
Members of the press therefore joined the meeting after it had started.
The Cabinet received legal advice that in order not to prejudice the public inquiry the meeting could not proceed as it would not be possible to restrict the discussions without straying into areas that would fall within the remit of the public Inquiry.
The Leader of the Council therefore closed the meeting.
We will explore opportunities for open discussions that do not prejudice the public inquiry.
Man arrested after allegedly pretending to be affected by the fire
A man was arrested on Wednesday night (June 28) after attempting to gain financially by pretending he was affected by the fatal Grenfell Tower fire.
For the full story, follow the link below:
The meeting was abandoned after journalists entered the room
A meeting held by senior councillors linked to the Grenfell Tower fire was scrapped on Thursday (June 29) after journalists were allowed in.
Journalists had initially been banned from the meeting until an order from the High Court permitted them entry.
You can read more here:
This was the scene before press were allowed in
"A social worker has been allocated to every affected household"
In terms of support for individuals and families, council leader Nick Paget-Brown said:
A social worker has been allocated to every affected household that wants one both from the Tower and other neighbouring properties.
On the ground, 106 of the 160 Adult Social Care and Childrens’ Social Services Team have been Royal Borough staff.
The Housing Assessment Team has been staffed by officers from other boroughs but the allocations team is from the Royal Borough.
Kensington Aldridge Academy will remain closed until September and pupils in Year 7-9 are currently based at Burlington Danes.
The sixth form is at Latymer Upper School.
Further tests are being made of the cladding.
"The cause of the fire will lie at the heart of the public enquiry"
Council leader Nick Paget-Brown said all 18 tower blocks managed by Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation have up-to-date Fire Safety Risk Assessments:
The cause of the fire and the reasons it spread so rapidly will lie at the heart of the public enquiry and it would not be right to pre-empt that.
Kensington and Chelsea Tenant Management Organisation (KCTMO) manage 18 tower blocks which are over ten stories in the borough – all have up-to-date Fire Safety Risk Assessments and none of the other high-rise blocks in the borough have cladding.
This has been confirmed to DCLG as part of their survey into tower blocks and external fixtures.
I can however confirm that a letter about fire safety has been delivered by hand to all residents in high-rise blocks by KCTMO.
It reiterates advice given by the fire service.
The KCTMO has also commissioned an independent fire survey of the council’s blocks of flats and the results of this will be made publicly available.
Full statement from leader of Kensington and Chelsea Council following meeting
Council leader Nick Paget-Brown said:
We meet in the tragic aftermath of the worst incident to have occurred in the borough since Kensington and Chelsea was created 52 years ago and one of London’s worst single losses of life since the second world war.
There are many questions but I want to start by remembering that it is the 80 people confirmed so far who have lost their lives and their grief stricken families that are uppermost in our minds.
They certainly have been in mine.
You can read more here: