LABOUR group members have launched a bid to remove the leader of Dudley Council from his top post – having called an extraordinary meeting of the council amid concerns raised about his conduct.

An extraordinary meeting of the council will be held at Dudley Town Hall on Monday July 10 at 6pm.

Senior female Labour councillors called for the meeting after Tory cabinet member Councillor Natalie Neale shared an email she’d sent to Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, saying she would resign if he didn’t as she felt he was not a suitable leader and she felt uncomfortable in his presence.

Cllr Harley hit back saying he’d been in a relationship with Cllr Neale that ended and that he would be taking legal action to defend his reputation.

Cllr Neale has declined to comment further – citing legal action.

Meanwhile, a group of senior female Labour politicians called for an extraordinary meeting of the council to be held – to try to oust Cllr Harley from his top job.

Papers published today (Friday June 30) ahead of the meeting say that on June 14 a requisition was presented to the Mayor of Dudley, signed by five members of the council, calling for an extraordinary meeting to be held to consider a report on the position of the authority’s leader.

The papers add that the opposition group has notified the monitoring officer to move a motion calling for Cllr Harley to “be removed from the office of leader of the council with immediate effect”.

Cllr Harley branded the meeting “a pointless exercise” – adding: “It’s absolutely ridiculous.

“If a Conservative group wanted rid of their leader they’d do it at a group meeting – they wouldn’t back a Labour motion.”

He stressed that he totally refutes the allegations made against him and said they cannot be discussed at the extraordinary meeting as they are the subject of litigation.