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St Paul's dean resigns over protest


The Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, the Right Rev Graeme Knowles, has resigned

The Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, the Right Rev Graeme Knowles, has resigned

The Dean of St Paul's Cathedral, the Right Rev Graeme Knowles, has resigned

The row over the anti-capitalist protest outside St Paul's Cathedral has claimed another victim.

The dean, the Right Rev Graeme Knowles, resigned saying his position was "untenable".

His departure followed those of Canon Chancellor of St Paul's Giles Fraser and part-time chaplain Fraser Dyer.

The dean made the initial announcement that the historic cathedral, in London, had closed its doors for the first time since the Second World War because of fears over health and safety. He asked demonstrators to move on, while the former canon chancellor and chaplain resigned because of the way the controversy had been handled, revealing divisions within the cathedral.

Mr Knowles, who had been dean for four years, said: "The past fortnight has been a testing time for the chapter and for me personally. 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. I do this with great sadness, but I now believe that I am no longer the right person to lead the chapter of this great cathedral."

The Archbishop of Canterbury described the resignation as "very sad news". Dr Rowan Williams 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, and the clergy of St Paul's deserve our understanding in these circumstances."

St Paul's and the City of London Corporation had announced on Friday they would try to obtain separate High Court injunctions to clear the 200-tent Occupy London camp.

The Corporation confirmed later on Monday it would issue a letter to the protesters on Tuesday asking them to remove their tents.

If the request is refused then the Corporation will go to court in a bid to secure an injunction to clear the camp.

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