The chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea council is set to receive a six-figure pay-off after being forced to quit following the handling of the Grenfell Tower disaster, it has been claimed.
Nicholas Holgate said he wanted to remain in his £190,000 a year post but was asked to resign after public backlash and an intervention by Communities Secretary Sajid Javid.
His resignation follows widespread anger over the council’s response to the tragedy, which Theresa May admitted was a ‘failure’ and for which the Prime Minister apologised.
Nicholas Holgate, the chief executive of Kensington and Chelsea council, is set to receive a six-figure pay-off after being forced to quit following the handling of the Grenfell Tower disaster, it has been claimed
Sources have indicated Mr Holgate will be entitled to compensation for losing his job, the Telegraph reported.
The sum is understood to be equivalent to at least six months’ pay covering his half-year notice period – which equates to about £100,000.
Critics have dismissed his departure as ‘scapegoating’ and it prompted growing calls from campaigners and MPs for the council’s Tory leader Nicholas Paget-Brown to step down as well.
The council has been widely criticised for failing adequately to help, support and rehouse survivors of last week’s blaze.
Tottenham Labour MP David Lammy, whose friend Khadija Saye, 24, died in the blaze, said: ‘This is a circumstance in which many people should consider their position and step aside. The leader of the council should go. The political leadership has been poor. He has lost the faith of the people on the streets.’ Hammersmith Labour MP Andy Slaughter argued that politicians should not let civil servants ‘take the rap’.
His resignation follows widespread anger over the council’s response to the tragedy in north Kensington
He said: ‘Part of being elected is about accountability. My experience from having spent several days visiting Kensington is that there is no confidence in the political leadership of the council. Mr Paget-Brown should follow his chief executive and do the decent thing and resign.’
Mr Holgate said Mr Javid ‘required the leader of the council to seek my resignation’ on Tuesday. The Cambridge-educated career civil servant added that he would have been a ‘distraction’ if he stayed in post after the ‘heart- breaking tragedy’ and he would step down once a successor is appointed.
A council source told the London Evening Standard that Mr Holgate’s departure was ‘a scapegoat strategy that will brush under the carpet the underlying problems. Getting rid of Mr Holgate will not help the problems to go away. The problem is the leadership and the complacency of monopoly’.
Mr Paget-Brown’s own offer to stand down was believed to have been rejected by members of his cabinet earlier this week.