NEWS
03/07/2017 20:59 BST

Tories Choose Elizabeth Campbell To Replace Kensington And Chelsea Council Chief

Kensington Conservatives have chosen a former cabinet member to replace the outgoing leader of the local authority at the centre of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Elizabeth Campbell will be put forward to take over from Nicholas Paget-Brown, who resigned on Friday, and lead the embattled Kensington and Chelsea Council.

Mr Paget-Brown stepped down amid fierce criticism of the council's response to the Grenfell tragedy, in which at least 80 people died nearly three weeks ago.

Ms Campbell told reporters after the meeting: "The first thing I want to do is I want to apologise. This is our community and we have failed it when people needed us the most.

"So, no buts, no ifs, no excuses - I am truly sorry."

She continued: "As new leader, I will appoint a new cabinet tomorrow and things are going to change.

"The first thing I'm going to do is to reach out to our community so we can begin to heal the wounds and the second thing I am going to do is to phone up Sajid Javid, as secretary of state, and ask for more help.

"I don't know at this stage what that help will be like, what the plan will be, but I know that the thing we need is a plan for the community in north Kensington and that is what I'm going to do."

Ms Campbell must now be formally elected by a meeting of the full council and a spokesman for the authority said the next scheduled meeting was on July 19, although an emergency one could be called earlier.

One Tory councillor said her election was a "formality" and Ms Campbell was now leader of the council "in practice".