St Paul's Dean steps down as pressure mounts over protest

City A.M. Reporter

dean of St Paul's Cathedral has resigned, saying his position had become untenable.

The Very Rev Graeme Knowles said the past fortnight had been a testing time.

It follows weeks of protests outside the cathedral by anti-capitalist protesters, which led to the building being closed for the first time since Word War II.

City of London authorities ordered protesters outside St Paul's to remove their tents and equipment within 48 hours.

Dean Knowles said he was stepping down "with great sadness".

In a statement, he said: "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."