Richard Leese, the Labour leader of Manchester city council, has stepped down temporarily with immediate effect after being arrested and cautioned for assaulting his stepdaughter.
He said in a statement today: “I’ve asked the Labour group and party to allow me a necessary period of time out, as long as is needed, to resolve serious family issues.
“This request has been agreed and the deputy leaders will be taking on my responsibilities. My wife Joanne and I and our family would appreciate it if we could be left in peace during this period.”
A spokesman for the council insisted his resignation was temporary.
Leese was arrested on Monday night and spent nearly 20 hours in custody after police were called to his home in Crumpsall to deal with a claim that a 16-year-old girl had been assaulted.
He was taken to Pendleton police station, in Salford, where he spent the night before being questioned by officers.
The 58-year-old was released just before 7pm yesterday after accepting a caution, which is an admission of guilt.