THE council’s chief executive was wrongly sacked by authority leader Chris Robbins, according to Conservatives.

In a strongly worded statement, Tory group leader Councillor Matt Davis says Cllr Robbins has exercised new powers to oust Andrew Kilburn, adding he believed the move was “party politically motivated”.

The council say Mr Kilburn is on holiday, although a spokesman could not confirm when he will return or who is running the authority in his absence.

But Cllr Davis confirmed that Mr Kilburn has left just a year into the job and the Guardian understands a six-figure settlement has been agreed.

Cllr Davis added that he believed the chief executive was forced out because of his decision to commission an independent review which revealed widespread financial mis-management across the authority.

He said: “"Both I and the Conservative group are extremely dismayed at the unwarranted and unilateral dismissal of Andrew Kilburn by Cllr Robbins in his first act as the council's 'strong leader'.

"Andrew Kilburn is by far the best chief executive that Waltham Forest has had in my time as a councillor and was party politically motivated over Mr Kilburn's utterly correct decision to initiate the Independent Panel investigation into the disgraceful BNI fiasco is a clear demonstration of the serious dangers ahead for the borough under the completely undemocratic dictatorship now imposed upon our council by the previous Labour government.

"The fact that this totally unexplained decision will cost council taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds at a time when resources are extremely limited, and there are so many more pressing things to spend that kind of money on, only rubs salt into the wound."

He added: “Since Waltham Forest's councillors have still not actually been officially informed about Mr Kilburn's departure the Conservatives call upon Cllr Robbins to swiftly issue that along with a full and frank explanation of the decision and exactly how it is going to benefit the residents of the borough."

Cllr Robbins was unavailable to comment.