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Grenfell: The latest

MEMORIAL: A woman walks past a wall of remembrance near Grenfell Tower

THIS MORNING we learned that the former Chief Executive of Kensington and Chelsea Council has resigned, some residents of the luxury Kensington development which has been earmarked for those left homeless have been complaining about the fact that homes will be allocated to survivors. A victim has been buried. Prime Minister Theresa May has just made a statement in Parliament updating the House and the public as to what the Government is doing about the crisis.

RESIGNATION

Nicholas Holgate resigned overnight from his post as chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea Council.

In a statement, Holgate said:

"Serving the families so desperately affected by the heart-breaking tragedy at Grenfell Tower remains the highest priority of the council.

"Despite my wish to have continued, in very challenging circumstances, to lead on the executive responsibilities of the Council, I have decided that it is better to step down from my role, once an appropriate successor has been appointed.

The leader of the Council, Nicholas Paget-Brown, who is still working in his post, commented on the resignation of his colleague:

“It is with great regret that I have today accepted Nicholas Holgate’s resignation. Like everyone else, the council has been grief stricken by the tragedy of the Grenfell Tower fire and has sought to provide the greatest level of support we can to victims.

“That is a huge challenge and Nicholas has led from the front in seeking to do this. However, the council will now need to work in a new way with different partners to take this forward.

"Nicholas has made a huge contribution to Kensington and Chelsea during his eight years with us and is greatly admired by staff and members. I am enormously grateful to him."

REACTIONS FROM KENSINGTON RESIDENTS:


FRESH START: The complex which will house up to 68 Grenfell survivors (image credit: The Evening Standard

Developers of a £2 million luxury complex in Kensington have offered the Government 68 flats at cost price which they have accepted on behalf of the displaced residents. Works are being accelerated in the hope that people will be able to move in by the end of July.

The complex boasts amenities such as a gym, swimming pool and cinema.

The Guardian newspaper spoke with residents including one who gave her name as Maria, who stated:

“We paid a lot of money to live here, and we worked hard for it. Now these people are going to come along, and they won’t even be paying the service charge.”

Another, by the name of Nick told the newspaper:

“I’m very sad that people have lost their homes, but there are a lot of people here who have bought flats and will now see the values drop. It will degrade things. And it opens up a can of worms in the housing market.”

BURIAL


GOODBYES: The coffin of victim Mohammad Alhajali is carried into the hearse yesterday

The first victim, 23-year-old Mohammad Alhajali, was laid to rest yesterday at a mosque in Whitechapel Road, east London. Alhajali was a Syrian refugee studying civil engineering at the university of West London.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan attended and addressed those who were grieving:

“All of London and all of the country is grieving today with Mohammad’s family.

“My message to anyone who is nervous coming forward to report anything to the authorities because of their immigration status is this: the government has committed not to take any action against anybody whose immigration status is uncertain. I am calling on the government on compassionate grounds to allow those inside Grenfell Tower who haven’t got right to remain to give them right to remain."

STATEMENT


REASSURANCES: Prime Minister Theresa May this morning

Prime Minister Theresa May addressed Parliament this morning to outline what was being done to re-house Grenfell residents and to work towards a conclusion in terms of recommendations for other buildings.

Highlights included:

- A promise that emergency funding of £5,500 to the displaced will not affect any benefit payments.

- Quick responses to the tragedy, rather than "waiting for ages" for an inquiry to come to a conclusion.

- Residents will not be "forced to move anywhere that they don't want to".

- “For any guilty parties there will be nowhere to hide”.

- Survivors need not worry about their immigration status being uncovered, if they are in the country illegally.

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