A SENIOR cabinet member on Dudley Council has threatened to quit her role unless the authority’s leader – whom she’s accused of inappropriate conduct – stands down.

Cradley and Wollescote councillor Natalie Neale, who serves as cabinet member for adult social care on Dudley Council, sent an email to Councillor Patrick Harley, leader of the council, condemning his leadership and informing him that she will be resigning unless he quits his top post.

She said in her message, which was emailed to Cllr Harley and members of Dudley’s Conservative and Labour parties, said: “It has taken me a long time to consider this, but I feel I have no alternative to take this course of action.

“I do not feel I can continue as cabinet member for adult social care under your leadership. I don't feel I can fulfil my senior role due to feeling uncomfortable and vulnerable in your presence.”

She said she has made a complaint to the council about alleged unacceptable behaviour and she added in her message to Cllr Harley: “I do not believe you are a suitable person to lead the council, and this email is to inform you that I will resign from cabinet member of adult social care, unless you stand down as leader of the council.

“No one should feel intimidated and vulnerable in their place of work.”

Dudley Council confirmed a complaint has been received and Mohammed Farooq, monitoring officer at the local authority, said: “We have been contacted in relation to a proposed complaint from an elected member about the alleged conduct of another elected member which is being considered.

“We understand that the proposed complainant has also indicated they will consider their future.”

Meanwhile, as the allegation emerged, female members of Dudley’s Labour Party have called for an extraordinary meeting of the council to be held as soon as possible – with Labour members intent on bringing a vote of no confidence against Cllr Harley, who has not responded to requests to comment on the allegation.

Cllr Neale has also not responded to a request for further comment.

The council confirmed it has received a request for an extraordinary meeting of the council to be held, which the monitoring officer said would “now follow the council process”.