Barrie Grunewald has stepped down as leader of St Helen’s Council while police investigate a data breach, with Derek Long last night being appointed in his stead.
Cllr Long, who represents the West Park ward, will start the position with immediate effect after receiving a unanimous vote at full council on Wednesday night.
Grunewald’s suspension is understood to be connected to data breaches relating to sharing information through WhatsApp. Merseyside Police have confirmed that “enquiries are ongoing as to whether any criminal activities have taken place”.
Mike Palin, chief executive of St Helens Council said: “Cllr Grunewald has resigned as leader of the council.
“The reason for Cllr Grunewald’s resignation does not relate to operational functioning of the council.”