St Paul's Cathedral dean resigns over Occupy London protest row - The Guardian

St Paul's Cathedral dean resigns over Occupy London protest row | UK news | The Guardian

"While Fraser stepped down over a specific objection to force being used to evict protesters from the 200 or so tents that have been set up close to the cathedral, Knowles resigned amid a general sense that the St Paul's hierarchy had dithered. This was particularly the case over the week-long closure of the cathedral, the first since the second world war, because of apparent health and safety issues which were never fully explained.

"The past fortnight has been a testing time for the chapter and for me personally," Knowles said in a statement.

"It has become increasingly clear to me that, as criticism of the cathedral has mounted in the press, media and in public opinion, my position as dean of St Paul's was becoming untenable. In order to give the opportunity for a fresh approach to the complex and vital questions facing St Paul's, I have thought it best to stand down as dean, to allow new leadership to be exercised."

Knowles's decision prompted a first intervention in the crisis by the archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams, who appeared to tacitly acknowledge that closing the cathedral was a mistake. He said: "The events of the last couple of weeks have shown very clearly how decisions made in good faith by good people under unusual pressure can have utterly unforeseen and unwelcome consequences."

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