Grenfell fire council leader was right to resign and commissioners should be brought in, says exclusive survey

Kensington and Chelsea council's former leader Nicholas Paget-Brown was right to resign on Friday and Government-appointed commissioners should be brought in to run the local authority, according to an exclusive survey for PRWeek.

The survey says Nicholas Paget-Brown, former leader of Kensington Council, was right to resign (©Mark Kerrison / Alamy Stock Photo)
The survey says Nicholas Paget-Brown, former leader of Kensington Council, was right to resign (©Mark Kerrison / Alamy Stock Photo)

The Conservative leader of the troubled local authority, which was the scene of the Grenfell fire disaster last month in which at least 80 people are known to have died, stepped down from his post on Friday.

Read next: Reputational crisis following Grenfell threatens to overwhelm Kensington council as leader resigns

A survey for 1,000 UK adults for PRWeek, carried out on Monday by digital insights company Toluna, found that 80 per cent of those surveyed agreed that he should resign.

Two thirds of survey respondents also said Paget-Brown should have resigned sooner.

However, nearly a third of those surveyed said he should have remained in post to lead the council’s response to the tragedy.

The council has come in for severe criticism, from survivors of the fire as well as politicians, for its handling of the aftermath of the blaze.

Asked if the council had handled the response to the tragedy well, 79 per cent of survey respondents said that it had not.

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, has called for Government-appointed commissioners to take over the running of the council until public trust is restored.

The idea has so far, been resisted by the Government but today it ordered a taskforce to take over the housing department, as well as other council operations.

However, 73 per cent of respondents to the survey said they would support the idea of sending in commissioners on a temporary basis.

Paget-Brown’s resignation was preceded by tumultuous scenes the previous evening, in which he attempted to hold a meeting of the council’s Cabinet in private, excluding the public and media.

However, a High Court judge said the council must allow the media to report it, but Paget-Brown then abandoned the meeting altogether, shortly after it began, telling those present that it could not have an "open discussion" with the media reporting councillor’s comments.

The decision was criticised by Downing Street and Paget-Brown resigned the next day, saying he had to accept his "share of responsibility for perceived failings".

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