this is bbc news. i'm martine croxall. the headlines at 11:00: after weeks of mounting pressure, the leader of the west london council responsible for grenfell tower is to step down. as council leader i have to accept my share of responsibility for these perceived failings. the labour leader, jeremy corbyn, calls on theresa may to broaden the scope of the inquiry into the disaster, in which at least 80 people died. the families of the young men who drowned off camber sands last summer express their anger about safety on the beach. there are lifeboats anywhere. there was no warnings signs... i cannot believe this is happening in uk. a gunman has opened fire inside a new york hospital killing one doctor and injuring several others. and on newsnight we'll have a report on the brutal killing of a brilliant student in pakistan in the name of the country's blasphemy laws, and the resultant calls
for them to be overturned. and we'll be discussing the resignation of the leader of kensington and chelsea council more than a fortnight after the tragedy of grenfell tower. good evening and welcome to bbc news. the leader of kensington and chelsea council, nicholas paget—brown, has announced that he's standing down — after days of mounting criticism of the authority's response to the grenfell tower fire. it was rebuked by downing street after a decision last night to abort a public meeting — and there's been further evidence that cost—cutting resulted in a downgrading of building refurbishments. in his statement, mr paget—brown said he had to accept responsibility for what he called "perceived" failings after the tragedy — which has claimed according
to police at least 80 lives. here's our home affairs correspondent tom symonds. were you pressured by no 10 to resign? the pressure simply got too great. he was the leader criticised with failing to cope with the crisis in his backyard. his council quickly lost the confidence of grenfell‘s victims. chanting: we wantjustice! we want justice! two weeks ago, his council offices were invaded. and last night, he couldn't even hold a council meeting after deciding that it wasn't possible to speak freely because journalists were in the room. in particular, my decision to accept legal advice that i should not compromise the public enquiry by having an open discussion in public yesterday, has itself become a political story. and it cannot be right that this should have become the focus of attention when so many are dead or still unaccounted for. and this was the reaction to his resignation.
it is good news because there needs to be big changes made in the council and this is at least a start. mr paget—brown claims no council could have coped with this. he thanks the community for its response, the emergency services, other london boroughs, but not the government. his deputy and his housing chiefs have also gone. investigations by the bbc and the times newspaper into the decisions made when the council refurbished grenfell tower added to the pressure. the big change was the addition of aluminium cladding panels to improve the look of the building. documents passed to the bbc revealed that zinc panels were originally proposed for grenfell. in 2012, the architects‘ designs showed this clearly. residents were told it would be zinc. but there was pressure from the council on contractors to reduce costs. by 2015, they had been given amendments to the original tender and told to fit aluminium cladding instead of zinc.
it's cheaper. the saving — more than £293,000. so did the change make a difference to fire safety? well, this panel is similar to the ones that were eventually used. it's an aluminium sandwich with a plastic filling, which is not fire resistant. the original zinc panels were marketed as capable of being able to resist fire. both panels have the same safety rating under european tests. but one expert has told us there are circumstances where the cheaper material would have burned faster. however, even the fact that there was pressure to cut costs has infuriated those affected by the fire. those affected and the wider community are utterly sick of this lack of value ascribed to human beings who pay their council tax, who pay these people's wages. meanwhile, cladding from 149 tower blocks has
now failed government tests. the whole process has been criticised as pointless because only the cladding is being tested, not for example, installation, which also burns. pointless 7 no, says the testing body. it is very critical at the beginning to do these screening tests, just to see whether there is a risk or not. whether buildings have this flammable cladding or not. many do, so now the question is, what do we do about it? and are there other risks that might happen as a consequence or are there other things we need to consider? resignations, a crisis in social housing, a police investigation, a public enquiries, unimaginable loss of life. grenfell tower casts a long shadow. tom symonds, bbc news. the families of five friends from london who drowned off camber sands in sussex last summer have demanded to know why no lifeguards were deployed on the beach. the five died just a month after two
other men drowned in the same area. lifeguards were introduced at camber soon afterwards. a coroner concluded that all seven deaths were due to misadventure. duncan kennedy reports. it's the beach where generations of families have made their summer holidays. long, wide, safe. a place where happy memories are created. but for kobi saththiyanathan, his brother ken, nitharsan ravi, inthushan sriska ntharasa, and gurusha nth srithavarajah, it became a place of danger and death. tonight the men's families rejected the coroner's findings that lifegaurds would not have saved them. their anger, matched by their anguish. they didn't make any attempt to find those boys. they didn't make any attempt. my brother was there for six hours. and even then my brother was found by the public. even all the other boys
were found by the public, not by the staff. the families also said rother council, which runs camber sands, had been wrong to suggest people from ethnic minorities were not good swimmers. that's why we're fighting, to change something. not for us, because my son will never come back to us. saththiya natnan, the father of the two brothers, kobi and ken who died, said his children were being blamed for their own deaths. this is the moment it became clear the five men had drowned. rother council said it hadn't put in lifegaurds, partly because it didn't have the money but did have other safety measures. tonight the council
was asked why it hadn't yet apologised to the families. the council has made it clear that they send their condolences to the families. it is a tragic event. we do not wish to see that happen again on any of our beaches. the coroner has taken away a lot of information from this and will be raising it at a national level. dr simon boxall is an expert in oceanography. he says the five men who died were most probably caught by strong currents in deep sand baths. dr boxall also said that sea temperatures on this stretch of coast at this time of year could be as much as 12 degrees cooler than a swimming pool. he said it was likely the men entered the water and went into shock. just a month earlier, on the same beach, mohit dupar and gustavo silva da cruz also drowned. for the family of all the men who died in this unprecedented sequence of beach tragedies, there is bewilderment about how this could happen in such a benign, relaxed and familiar setting. duncan kennedy, bbc news.
the former chief of staff to the brexit secretary has claimed the prime minister's "absolutist positions" have "hamstrung" the country's negotiations over leaving the european union. speaking on the week in westminster on radio 4, james chapman, who worked for david davis until the general election, added that unless theresa may showed "more flexibility," she would struggle to persuade parliament to support her plans. it is significant, this warning. apart from being a daily mail political editor, he is only weeks after thejob political editor, he is only weeks after the job working political editor, he is only weeks after thejob working for political editor, he is only weeks after the job working for david davis and he previously worked for george osborne when he was
chancellor. the information he brings to the outside world is that he believes and his old boss probably believes, that it is making thejob more difficult by probably believes, that it is making the job more difficult by taking this absolutist position. to withdraw from the european court of justice jurisdiction. withdraw from the european court of justicejurisdiction. any transitional arrangement post brexit have to become more flexible if she wa nts to have to become more flexible if she wants to get a good deal and it is suggested it will determine the course. also perhaps, not desperately complimentary towards the people leading the negotiations because he also suggests there is more talent in the backbenchers than the front benches. in new york, several people — including at least three doctors — are believed to have been wounded after shots were fired
inside a hospital. police say the suspect barricaded himself inside new york city's bronx lebanon hospital with a rifle. they swarmed the building in search of him, and say he's now dead. at approximately 2:55pm and fire in a garden on the 15th floor on bronx lebanon hospital. responding patrol units quickly determined that several people had been shot on the 16th and 17th floor. i learned —— by a lone gunman. different units and commands responded and began our active shoot up protocol including a search for the suspect, evacuation and activation of nypd personnel and ft personnel is. the alarm system
was activated apparently due to the suspects attempt to set himself on fire. 0n the 17th floor offices and counted the suspect dead from an apparent self—inflicted government. a funeral victim was also discovered on the 17th floor. she was pronounced dead at the scene. six additional bit —— victims were found. five were seriously injured and one suffered a gunshot wounds to the lake. the suspect is a former employee of bronx lebanon hospital. commissionerjames 0'neill from the new york police. now it's time for newsnight. a brilliant student in pakistan
is brutally murdered in the name of the country's blasphemy laws. the mob think he is a blasphemer. this is where he tried to hide from the mob. they found him here. they kicked him, beat him, hit him with sticks and shot him. we'll look at the chance of overturning that law, and how british imams should be responding. he's finally gone... i've therefore decided to step down as leader of the council. it's ridiculous he thought he could hang on. it's really great. kensington and chelsea council leader steps down after two weeks of failure. we'll find out what residents think. and, from loveable pet... ..to abattoir fodder on the run. we speak tojon ronson, co writer of 0kja, the latest film to confront our insatiable carnivorous habits. good evening, first,
more on the controversy over lading ——cladding and buildings razed by the grenfell tower tragedy. newsnight has discovered crucial details about why so many about buildings managed to get cladding installed that does not meet normal safety standards. chris, what have you found out this evening. we have to take a step back to remember how you get cladding signed off by the building inspectors. the first way is to test all of the parts of the cladding you wish to put up in a laboratory and check it is basically impossible to set on fire. the second thing you can do, we have a video showing it, is if you want to use a bit of material that is a little flammable, is you can put that material into a furnace, effectively, in the configuration
you want to use it to see if it holds up. but there are other routes, one is a desktop test. you say, you have done a properfire test in a laboratory, i want to do something similar to that, so i'll get an engineer to say what you are proposing is the same as that over there. what we discovered over the last few weeks is that the desktop tests are used more widely than anyone respectable or responsible thought and there are serious problems with the quality. we think they are widespread. we have managed to get hold of a couple of things that are very secretive. impossible to get hold of. these are documents. we managed to get hold of two produced by a company. they relate to using combustible insulation like a grenfell tower