Iain Malcolm is no longer the leader of South Tyneside Council leader or a councillor after walking from his elected role.
The politician has quit the Labour Party against a backdrop of bullying accusations, which sparked an investigation led by an external independent investigator and was due to report back to the council’s standards committee soon.
Now the council has confirmed he has also resigned from his post as the elected member for the Horsley Hill Ward, having served as a councillor for 32 years, with the last 12 spent as the leader of the authority.
Mr Malcolm has been contacted for comment.
It comes as the council continues to search for a new chief executive after Martin Swales left the post in September.
A spokesperson for South Tyneside Council today, Tuesday, November 17, said: “We can confirm that Iain Malcolm has resigned as leader of the council and elected member for Horsley Hill with immediate effect.
“The deputy leader will for the time being assume duties formerly undertaken by the leader, as per the council constitution.
“A vacancy in the Horsley Hill Ward will be declared at the next meeting of borough council.
"All elections were suspended by the government in May 2020 and we await further guidance on this before we can advise on any future by-election for the ward.”
Whitburn and Marsden Councillor Tracey Dixon is deputy leader of the council.
Earlier today, the Labour Party confirmed Mr Malcolm had left the organisation, but said it was unable to go into further detail due to an ongoing investigation.
It is understood that inquiry will continue and remain on file for future reference.
In their complaint against the then-leader, a letter signed by Stuart Reid, the council’s corporate director of business and resources, and Nicola Robason, head of corporate and external affairs, detailed how he presided over a working environment which affected the ability of council staff to do their jobs.
They letter referred to working hard to fulfill their roles “despite being fearful, bullied and controlled”.
The letter added: “We have an exceptional loyalty to the council we serve, but that sense of loyalty has been tested to breaking point.”
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