The leader of Worcestershire County Council has resigned amid allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards staff.

Dr George Lord, leader of Worcestershire County Council, left his position at the council last Saturday and has been replaced by deputy leader, Coun Adrian Hardman.

Coun Hardman said: “Over the course of the last week, some allegations of inappropriate behaviour towards staff have been made against Dr George Lord.

“As is normal practice in these circumstances, the individual against whom any allegations are being made is presented with the information when it is at an unsubstantiated stage.

“Dr Lord recognised the disruption this situation could cause to the work of the council and decided to resign from the council with immediate effect.

“I as deputy leader will automatically take over as leader until the formal process of appointing a new leader is implemented and my focus, with the support of both elected members and officers, will be on supporting the staff involved in these allegations and importantly maintaining the momentum within the council to meet the challenges it faces in the current economic climate.”

Conservative Coun Lord, who had been leader of the council since 2001, also stood down from his position as councillor for Alvechurch.

A new leader of the council will be appointed at a meeting on Thursday, November 18.

A spokeswoman for the county council said no investigation would be taking place into the allegations as Dr Lord is no longer with the council.