The leader of Redbridge Council is facing calls to stand down from his position until serious allegations against him are resolved.

Councillor Jas Athwal was suspended from the Labour Party last week over disputed allegations made against him in August.

Cllr Athwal claims he provided witness statements and evidence, when the allegations were first made, proving they were “untrue”.

The leader of the opposition, Cllr Linda Huggett, has urged Mr Athwal to “do the right thing and step aside as Leader of Redbridge Council until the matter is resolved” following his suspension.

Mr Athwal described his suspension as an ‘unfair process’ and claimed he had received no correspondence from the party since submitting evidence.

In a statement on Twitter, he said: “It is contrary to natural justice. All I seek is a fair hearing and due process.”

“The Labour Party has had every opportunity to deal with this manner properly and fairly in the past seven weeks and chose only to act late yesterday by suspending me when I had no time to challenge that decision.”

But Cllr Huggett insisted he step down to avoid distractions to the “vital work to be done to improve the lives of our residents.”

“Redbridge must come first,” she added.

Mr Athwal was considered a frontrunner to be named the Labour candidate for Ilford South, the seat of former Labour MP Mike Gapes.

However, candidate applications have been reopened following his suspension.

Labour MP for Ilford North, Wes Streeting, has described cllr Athwal’s suspension as a “stitch up” on twitter and called for the party to suspend the selection process in Ilford South.

He said: “Proceeding under these circumstances will only confirm for many our suspicion that the suspension of the local frontrunner, Cllr Jas Athwal, just 15 hours before the vote is politically motivated and biased in order to stitch up the selection.

“While it is right for the Labour Party to take all complaints seriously, the selection process must be suspended until this matter is fully investigated and resolved so that every candidate is given a fair chance and every member of Ilford South Labour Party is given a real choice.”

The East London Guardian has reached out to Mr Athwal and Redbridge Council for further comment.