His resignation comes days after rumours emerged about a split in the clergy, said to be over whether to launch legal action and evict the protestors who have set up a tent city outside St Paul’s.

When the camp was first set up 12 days ago, Dr Fraser said he supported the Occupy movement’s right to protest.

But when the cathedral was forced to shut over health and safety concerns, it appears there were divisions among senior officials as to what to do next.

Dr Fraser wrote on his Twitter account: “It is with great regret and sadness that I have handed in my notice at St Paul’s Cathedral”.

The dean of St Paul’s, Rt Rev Graeme Knowles, said he was “very sorry” to see Dr Fraser go.

“He has developed the work of the St Paul’s Institute and has raised the profile of our work in the City,” Rev Knowles added. “We are obviously disappointed that he is not able to continue to his work with Chapter during these challenging days.

“We will miss his humour and humanity and wish Giles and his family every good wish into the future.”  

It is thought that St Paul’s could reopen to the public as early as Friday.

The cathedral is believed to be losing £20,000 a day in tourist revenue.