Cheshire East former leader to resign after police probe

Image copyright Cheshire East Council
Image caption Michael Jones resigned as leader of Cheshire East Council on 8 December

A former council leader in Cheshire has announced he is to step down from the council when a police misconduct investigation concludes.

Michael Jones resigned as leader of Cheshire East Council last year after criticism over the way contracts were awarded to Core Fit Ltd, owned by his personal physiotherapist.

A police investigation into misconduct in a public office is under way.

The former leader denies wrongdoing and separate allegations of bullying.

Mr Jones told the BBC: "I will resign once the investigation is over and call a by-election once I have spoken to my party and the new leader.

"I believe once I am out of politics shortly, I will develop private sector financial initiatives to fund work with young children and I intend to support a variety of innovations to make their lives better."

Police investigation

Core Fit Ltd, which is owned by Amanda Morris, runs fitness classes in schools and was given three contracts collectively worth £156,000 by the council.

The council admitted waiving its own financial rules when it granted three contracts.

A Cheshire police investigation launched four months ago into the awarding of contracts and "the involvement of all relevant individuals" is continuing, said a force spokesman.

In December, Mr Jones announced he was stepping down as council leader to avoid "infighting" within the Conservative group.

He has represented Bunbury since 2011.

Conservative colleague Rachel Bailey was elected as the council's new leader in February.

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