Cheshire East Council leader Cllr Michael Jones has resigned following allegations of improper conduct around the award of contracts to a physiotherapy firm.
During his three years in the post, the outspoken Conservative leader became synonymous with dozens of lost housing appeals by the local authority as it struggled to persuade planning inspectors it had sufficient supply to resist new applications from developers.
The BBC reported overnight that Jones had wanted to avoid a “blue on blue attack” within his own Conservative Party group, as the scandal around contracts to the Core Fit physiotherapy firm, owned by his own personal physiotherapist Amanda Morris, grew in recent weeks.
Jones denied any wrongdoing surrounding the contract awards, worth more than £150,000. Core Fit ran classes in schools to promote healthy lifestyles.
Jones is due to speak at a press conference at the council headquarters in Sandbach at midday on Wednesday.
The BBC quoted Jones saying: “Residents and my party must and should come first.
“Nothing in Core Fit concerns me and certainly no claims on bullying anywhere… as such I will not want a divided party.
“The residents are all I strive for and I am pleased to leave a far better council today than the one I inherited.”