Council issues brief apology for its slow response to Grenfell Tower tragedy

Nick Paget-Brown, leader of Kensington and Chelsea council, reads statement as attempt to ban journalists from meeting fails after legal challenge

The embattled leader of Kensington and Chelsea council, Nick Paget-Brown, made a brief apology on Thursday for its response to the Grenfell Tower disaster, at a tense meeting from which members of the public were barred and journalists only allowed in after a last-minute legal challenge.

This first council cabinet meeting since the fire was initially intended to be held behind closed doors, but a group of media organisations including the Guardian obtained a high court order preventing the council from banning journalists at about 6pm – half an hour before the meeting was due to start. The doors were finally opened after the meeting had got under way, although those bereaved by the disaster and local residents were not allowed in.

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