Dany Cotton: London Fire Brigade chief to quit four months early

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Media captionLFB chief Dany Cotton said in October: “We are truly sorry we couldn’t save everyone’s life that night”

London’s first female fire commissioner has said she will quit at the end of the year – four months earlier than previously planned.

Dany Cotton, 50, had announced she was to stand down from the London Fire Brigade in April 2020.

She has faced criticism of her work at the Grenfell Tower fire which killed 72 people in June 2017.

Grenfell United said the resignation was “a change in leadership” that was “needed to keep Londoners safe”.

Ms Cotton said Grenfell Tower was “without doubt the worst fire” the London Fire Brigade has ever faced.

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Grenfell Tower Inquiry

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Dany Cotton, second from right, in Grenfell Tower on the night of the fire

An inquiry into the Grenfell fire, which examined what happened on the night of 14 June 2017, concluded that “many more lives” could have been saved if the advice to residents to “stay put” had been abandoned earlier than 02:35 BST.

It said London Fire Brigade’s preparations for such a fire were “gravely inadequate”.

Survivors called for senior fire brigade staff to be sacked and prosecuted, saying that the brigade is “in the hands of people that are incapable of their jobs”.

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Media captionGrenfell families: ‘There was a serious lack of common sense’

Ms Cotton said she had worked on “some of the most painful incidents to have occurred in LFB’s history” during her 32 years with the service.

Three months into the job, she attended the Clapham Junction rail disaster where 33 people died.

She also led crews when tackling the fire which ravaged the Cutty Sark in 2007.

The Mayor of London Sadiq Khan praised Ms Cotton for more than three decades with the fire brigade but added that her decision to go was “the right one”.

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Dany Cotton speaking to Theresa May the day after the fire

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