THE LEADER of the council has been suspended from his own party, as part of an ongoing investigation. 

Cllr Sohail Munawar, the leader of Slough Borough Council, was suspended from the Labour Party in a surprise move last night (Thursday).

Under the constitution of Slough Borough Council, Cllr Munawar remains the leader of the council and a councillor, unless he resigns, or a motion is put in place to remove him in the next full council meeting on Tuesday, November 28.

Christine Hulme, chairwoman of the local Labour Party, said: "Cllr Munawar has been suspended from party membership, pending the outcome of our investigation.

"He is still expected to abide by Labour policies. The investigation started recently, in the past few weeks.

"As it is an ongoing investigation, I'm not able to comment as to the reasons."

Ms Hulme continued: "If the investigation turns up something serious, the case will be referred to the National Executive Committee, who will make a decision on the penalty. The ultimate penalty is expulsion, but there are a range of options available."

Cllr Anna Wright (Con) said: "It's quite interesting, and is showing what is happening within Labour. Slough Borough Council has been involved in cover-ups and corruption, and I know the Local Government Authority isn't happy with him either."

Cllr Preston Brooker (Lab), commenting on the suspension, said: "I, personally, have never had any problem with Sohail, and I have no knowledge of the alleged incident as I wasn't there." Cllr Brooker did not elaborate as to the nature of this 'incident.'

Cllr Munawar said: “Obviously if the party has received complaints they have to take action and I will be cooperating fully with any investigation.

“After any investigation has been concluded, if the complaints are not upheld then I hope for an apology from the party and action against the complainant, but if the complaints are upheld I will do what any honourable person does and step down.

“Until then, I intend to remain the leader of the council and push forward the council agenda on major regeneration projects, new homes for our residents, fantastic new leisure sites, helping our most vulnerable residents and working for the people of Slough.”

Cllr Munawar appeared to allude to his suspension in a speech at the Slough Youth Awards yesterday (Thursday), in which he said: "Sometimes you have a bad week and sometimes you have a very bad week.

"This week was a very bad week, and sometimes in politics you are in a dark room, and you try and come out and see the solution."