A parish councillor and reality TV show advisor has been suspended from his party after failing to pay thousands of pounds to a former employee.

On July 31 Cllr Richard Alvin, a former Chigwell Parish Council chairman and advisor to Mary Portas and Peter Jones, was suspended by the Epping Forest Conservative Party having recently rejoined through the central office.

The suspension relates to a recent employment tribunal, in which the businessman was ordered to pay Amy Sowerby more than £3,000 after she left his company Capital Business Media Ltd.

The dispute became public on at a council meeting on June 28 when Miss Sowerby's father served Mr Alvin with a legal notice demanding he pay the missed wages.

In August 2016 the then 18 year-old Harlow College pupil joined the Canary Wharf company as a digital journalist apprentice, working there for 15 months.

A late first paycheck was followed by missing payslips, no P60 and no contract of employment, until representatives from Harlow College's apprenticeship scheme visited the office - at which point the document was backdated.

Having left on November 3, 2017, without pay for the whole of October, Miss Sowerby reported the company to an employment tribunal in February 2018 and was awarded £3,253.45 plus interest by a judge.

Miss Sowerby said: “I never expected to find myself in a position where I would be taking someone to court not too long after leaving school.

"From the joy of being offered an apprenticeship, to quickly being taken advantage of, it has been difficult.

"This whole process of having to delve into law and seek justice for what you have been through is a stressful situation for anyone, let alone someone of my age.

"Mentally, it has been an extremely draining journey.

"All I want is to have the situation resolved by receiving my legally required documents and Employment Tribunal Reward."

This has proven difficult however.

Despite repeated requests for payment, a returned written demand sent to Capital's office, a recorded delivery signed at Mr Alvin's home address in Chigwell and finally a public intervention by her father, Ms Sowerby is yet to receive any of the money.

The 43 year-old businessman has amassed a sizeable portfolio grounded in Docklands-based media companies and the UK's largest business publication Business Matters, earning him the London Chamber of Commerce & Industry and Dockland's Business Club's Business Person of The Year award in 2013.

When asked about Miss Sowerby's case, Mr Alvin said he no longer takes an active role in Capital Business Management, despite being a director, and claimed to have only become aware of her issues recently.

He also denied signing for the letter sent to his home address and instead suggested the withheld pay was due to an administrative error on Miss Sowerby's part.

Mr Alvin said he was aware Miss Sowerby was waiting for her final month's salary, but was withholding it until a certificate of completion is sent to the company, something CEO of Capital Business Media Andrew Martin claims to have asked her for twice.

He added: "I can say that no one wants this matter to be resolved as soon as possible as both myself."

Ms Sowerby said she received no emails or calls from Mr Martin.

She added: "The whole experience has been stressful as a young individual.

"Furthermore, my certificate of completion arrived after I left Capital Business Media and I was never asked by Mr Alvin to show evidence of this item.”