You can read 9 more articles this month
LONDON Fire Commissioner Dany Cotton is to retire four months early following criticism of the service’s response to the Grenfell Tower fire, it was announced today.
A statement from the London Fire Brigade (LFB) said her departure on December 31 was agreed “to enable a timely handover” after discussions with City Hall.
The announcement comes as the service is looking to act on the recommendations of the Grenfell injury report.
LFB’s first female commissioner, who was due to retire in April, had been facing pressure to resign from bereaved families and survivors of the June 2017 blaze following a recent critical report on the service.
The first report from the Grenfell inquiry found that the LFB’s preparation for a tower block fire such as Grenfell was “gravely inadequate” and its lack of an evacuation plan was a “major omission.”
Commenting on her retirement, Ms Cotton said she was “proud” and “honoured” to have served alongside London fire service staff.
Grenfell United, the official organisation for bereaved families and survivors, welcomed Ms Cotton’s announcement.
In a statement, the group said: “This change in leadership is needed to keep Londoners safe. [Inquiry chairman] Sir Martin Moore-Bick raised serious concerns that the LFB was an institution at risk of not learning the lessons of Grenfell.
“The phase one report has important recommendations for the LFB. The incoming commissioner must ensure that they move swiftly to implement those recommendations and be determined in their efforts to ensure the lessons of Grenfell are learnt.”
Nabil Choucair, who lost six family members in the fire, said it was a “disgrace” that it had taken this long for Ms Cotton to step down.
And Flora Neda, who lost her husband in the blaze, said she was “happy” about the news of Ms Cotton’s early retirement.
“It’s a step forward for us,” she said. “It makes us feel not quite as hopeless, it gives us hope that justice will be done.”
A spokeswoman for campaign group Justice 4 Grenfell said Ms Cotton’s early retirement should be followed by changes to the fire safety policy and the implementation of the public inquiry recommendations.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by joining the 501 club.
Just £5 a month gives you the opportunity to win one of 17 prizes, from £25 to the £501 jackpot.
By becoming a 501 Club member you are helping the Morning Star cover its printing, distribution and staff costs — help keep our paper thriving by joining!
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by become a member of the People’s Printing Press Society.
The Morning Star is a readers’ co-operative, which means you can become an owner of the paper too by buying shares in the society.
Shares are £1 each — though unlike capitalist firms, each shareholder has an equal say. Money from shares contributes directly to keep our paper thriving.
Some union branches have taken out shares of over £500 and individuals over £100.
You can’t buy a revolution, but you can help the only daily paper in Britain that’s fighting for one by donating to the Fighting Fund.
The Morning Star is unique, as a lone socialist voice in a sea of corporate media. We offer a platform for those who would otherwise never be listened to, coverage of stories that would otherwise be buried.
The rich don’t like us, and they don’t advertise with us, so we rely on you, our readers and friends. With a regular donation to our monthly Fighting Fund, we can continue to thumb our noses at the fat cats and tell truth to power.
Donate today and make a regular contribution.