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Suspended chief exec seeks out editor

Hull City Council – officially one of Britain’s worst councils – is the subject of controversy after its chief executive was suspended.

Within hours of being escorted from his office, the chief executive Jim Brooks rang Hull Daily Mail editor John Meehan to talk about his ordeal.

The result was an exclusive interview which the paper ran over the first three pages as the story broke.

In it, Mr Brooks pledged to clear his name and return to the Guildhall.

In the exclusive interview with the editor he also denied acting improperly over the leaking of a critical report into the council.

And he insisted he was ready to return to work alongside city council leader Coun Colin Inglis, who proposed a restructure of Mr Brooks’ role and that of the council’s other senior managers.

“We don’t have to like each other,” he told John.

“We just have to respect each other and I have the highest respect for his role. My intention is to co-operate fully. I have nothing to hide. I have never lied to a councillor. I had no intention to mislead or misinform any councillors and I don’t believe I did. I am confident that this will be confirmed by the investigation.”

John met Mr Brooks at the officer’s detached home in a village near Beverley. Comfortably dressed in a green open-necked shirt, casual trousers and moccasins, he reflected on his suspension.

He was initially appointed to his £130,000-a-year job last year under the then ruling Labour group. He then worked with the Liberal Democrat administration before Labour returned to power in the local elections last month.

Speculation intensified over a power struggle between the council leader Inglis and Mr Brooks. Coun Inglis warned before the election that the chief executive’s role would be reviewed and the Labour group has now announced a radical restructure of senior management roles at the Guildhall.

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