1 Nov 2011

Eviction threat to St Paul’s camp protest

Demonstrators camped outside St Paul’s Cathedral are being told to remove their tents or face legal action.

Protesters outside St Paul's cathedral (Getty)

The City of London Corporation has said it will hand over a letter warning the Occupy London Stock Exchange group that it has 48 hours to clear its campsite or High Court action will be taken to evict them.

The demonstrators, who have been outside St Paul’s for two weeks, said they camp will remain “for months” as they campaign for “a future free from austerity, growing inequality, unemployment, tax injustice”.

On Monday the row claimed another victim as the dean of St Paul’s, the Right Rev Graeme Knowles, resigned saying his position was “untenable”.

His departure followed those of canon chancellor Giles Fraser and part-time chaplain Fraser Dyer.

‘Urgent issues’

The Right Rev Graeme Knowles 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.

The dean 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.

Read more: Who are the protesters at St Paul's and what do they want?

However the dean resigned over the issue on Monday, saying he was leaving with “great sadness” because he felt it was time for a fresh approach to the “complex and vital questions” raised by the protesters.

In his first comments on the situation, the Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams said the protesters had raised “urgent issues”.

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, and the clergy of St Paul’s deserve our understanding in these circumstances.”