Grenfell commander appointed new London Fire Commissioner

10 December 2019, 12:26

The commander at Grenfell will become London's new fire chief
The commander at Grenfell will become London's new fire chief. Picture: London Fire Brigade / PA

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has appointed Andy Roe as London's new Fire Commissioner following the resignation of Dany Cotton.

The new head of the London Fire Brigade will begin his role on 1 January 2020 and will replace the outgoing Ms Cotton.

Andy Roe had operational command for the 2016 Croydon tram crash and overturned the "stay put" policy minutes after becoming incident commander at the Grenfell Tower fire.

Last week, the fire chief announced she would step down from the role in December, four months earlier than expected, following a "consultation with City Hall."

Mr Roe has worked for the London Fire Brigade since 2002, having previously held an officer's position in the British Army.

For almost two decades he climbed up the ranks from being a firefighter at Clerkenwell and West Hampstead, until becoming Assistant Commissioner in January 2017 and Deputy Commissioner for Operations last month.

The incoming fire chief called the opportunity "an enormous privilege" as the service enters a new decade.

Dany Cotton announced she would be stepping down at the end of December
Dany Cotton announced she would be stepping down at the end of December. Picture: PA

"My priority is to protect and serve all Londoners and make sure the capital’s fire and rescue service is the very best it can be," he said.

“We have some real challenges ahead, but I’ll be working tirelessly with the Brigade, the Mayor and London’s communities to ensure we deliver on the recommendations of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry report.

"I’m looking forward to leading the Brigade through a period of transformation and delivering a workforce that truly reflects the diverse city we serve.”

Mayor Khan said he was "determined to do everything" he can "to ensure we have a fire and rescue service that is the best in the world."

"Andy Roe is a hugely experienced firefighter and I’m really pleased to have appointed him as London’s Fire Commissioner," he added.

“The Grenfell Tower Inquiry report made it clear there were institutional failures that meant, while firefighters performed with great courage and bravery, the overall response to the disaster was not good enough, and there are significant lessons for London Fire Brigade."

The new commander will deliver on the recommendations from the Grenfell Inquiry report
The new commander will deliver on the recommendations from the Grenfell Inquiry report. Picture: PA

The mayor said he was "looking forward to working with Andy Roe" and he wanted to ensure an effective and swift "transformation of the Brigade."

Mr Roe will work closely with the Deputy Mayor for Fire and Resilience, Fiona Twycross, to deliver on the recommendations from Phase One of the Inquiry, and will ensure the Brigade contributes to Phase Two.

Ms Twycross "welcomed" the appointment of the "experienced" new Commissioner.

"There are tough challenges ahead for the Brigade in terms of implementing the recommendations from the Grenfell Tower Inquiry," she said.

"Andy is clear on the direction the Brigade needs to take and how to deliver the best service possible in order to keep Londoners safe."

Mr Roe's appointment is subject to a confirmation hearing by the London Assembly’s Fire, Resilience and Emergency Planning Committee.

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