AN INDEPENDENT probe into the recruitment of Slough Borough Council's new chief executive, Roger Parkin, has been ordered by the leader, Cllr Sohail Munawar.

The review, which will be carried out by the Gravitas Consultancy, comes after political in-fighting at the council which resulted in deputy leader, Cllr Sabia Hussain, losing her job and Cllr Munawar himself being suspended from the Labour party and placed under investigation.

Cllr Hussain and other councillors had claimed Mr Parkin's appointment should not have been made - with Cllr Hussain claiming he faces allegations of bullying and inappropriate behaviour.

Cllr Munawar has long been a supporter of Mr Parkin, still currently the interim chief, but the latest move comes as he faces political pressure himself after being removed as the leader of the Slough Labour group.

The review will also look into the recruitment of the senior officers at the council and its own whistleblowing policy.

Councillor Munawar, said in a statement today, Monday: “It is unfortunate political differences, personalities and opinions have damaged the reputation of the organisation we all hold dear and I have decided, in the interests of the council, our residents and businesses we should have an independent review of our most critical and urgent business.

“The council’s work is continuing every day and for many staff it is business as usual.

“We have an excellent senior leadership team led by the interim chief executive supported by a diverse and committed workforce, who are collectively leading the way in providing services and improving the town for everyone.

“But these political wranglings only serve to bring our wonderful borough down, cause a difficult working environment and invite doubt in our abilities and those of our wonderful hard working communities.

“I have listened to all the concerns raised and reflected on them and I believe this review is what we need.

“It will be entirely independent, will review and offer recommendations which should answer all the issues people have raised, all their concerns once and for all, meaning we can continue to drive forward with our vision for the town.”

He added: “I would like to thank everyone who is supporting me as leader of the council.

“Slough is a great place to live and work and I want to continue our excellent work unhindered.”

Cllr Munawar is being investigated by Labour Central Office for allegations including bullying and harassment and sending a porn video on his mobile phone via WhatsApp to other members.

He remains leader of the council.