Tories face fight to hold onto Kensington & Chelsea

  • Video report by Simon Harris

The Conservatives could lose power of Kensington and Chelsea Council with Labour believing their opponents could pay a heavy price for the Grenfell Tower fire.

The borough sees some of London's richest and poorest living side-by-side, something brought into focus by the tragedy.

Labour councillor Robert Atkinson told ITV London: "It's [the council] being punished for privatising and outsourcing everything, which has neither saved money nor improved services and I suppose Grenfell is the ultimate symbol of that."

The Tories' grip on power had been slipping by to the fire, with Emma Dent Coad winning Kensington in last year's General Election, but a potential second victory in the local elections next would be a seismic one.

Elizabeth Campbell, the Conservative leader of Kensington and City Council hopes voters look at things beyond Grenfell, though. "Look at the streets, you've got clean streets, trees, you've got beautiful greenery, you've got no potholes, you've got fabulous schools," Councillor Campbell told ITV London. "Grenfell...the way the council dealt with it, will be the subject of a public inquiry."

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has spent time in campaigning in the area recently, as he realises the impact winning the council would have.

Cllr Linda Wade of the Liberal Democrats anticipates it to be a close race.