REDBRIDGE councillor Suresh Kumar has been suspended from the Conservative Group on Redbridge Council after allegations of corruption were published in a Sunday newspaper.

Council leader Lawrence Davies took the action after Cllr Kumar was alleged to have asked for money to help a planning application go through.

The councillor, who represents Valentines ward, wrote to Cllr Davies after the allegations were published offering to resign the Conservative group whip and Cllr Davies accepted his offer.

In a statement Cllr Davies said: "The Conservative Group on Redbridge Council is horrified by these allegations and it is for Councillor Kumar to rebut them.

"The Conservative Group on Redbridge Council and the Conservative Party both locally and nationally believe in acting to the high standards expected of public office and where any doubt is cast will act accordingly."

Cllr Kumar has held the seat since winning a by-election by just nine votes in 2003 against former Labour councillor Leslie Hilton.

The councillor is vice-chairman of the council's planning policy and regeneration scrutiny committee and also sits on the licensing committee and the regulatory committee.

Labour Group leader Elaine Norman: "These are very serious allegations. They should be investigated by the police and I think he should resign from the planning committee until he has cleared his name.

"These allegations bring all councillors into disrepute and I will be raising this with the council's chief executive.

"I am very concerned because people have to have confidence in the impartiality of councillors."

Cllr Kumar denied the allegations and said he had no plans to resign from the committees.

He said: "I refute the allegations but I have been advised by my legal team to make no comment at this time. It's rather delicate and we want to do things properly."