London fire commissioner to retire next year

27 June 2019

Dany Cotton, London’s first female fire commissioner, has announced that she plans to retire in 2020.

BBC News reported that when Ms Cotton joined London Fire Brigade (LFB) at the age of 18, she was one of only 30 female firefighters in the capital. Described as ‘truly exceptional’ by the mayor of London, she has also drawn criticism about her handling of Grenfell. Nevertheless, she told the Grenfell inquiry that she would not change anything about the way her crews responded.

‘The utter devastation of the Grenfell Tower fire and its impact on so many people will never leave me,’ she commented, admitting that she now suffered with traumatic memory loss and had received counselling since the fire, in which 72 people died.

She undertook to ‘remain dedicated to leading LFB through any findings’ from the ongoing inquiry into the blaze, but the Grenfell victims’ lawyer said that Ms Cotton and her leadership team were 'not fit to run' the service.

Survivors also criticised the commissioner after she told the inquiry that she had not spent much time thinking about the disaster, as ‘it would be no good for me to fall apart’.

Grenfell United, which represents bereaved families and survivors, said they would not let her evade responsibility through a ‘carefully choreographed retirement’

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