The investigation into alleged improper conduct at Cheshire East Council has been passed over to TITAN, the regional organised crime unit.

Cheshire police stressed the decision to pass the investigation to TITAN was made ‘to ensure the integrity of the investigation and all those involved, in light of the fact that the Constabulary and the local authority enjoy a healthy, professional working relationship’.

The force said no inferences should be drawn regarding the core investigative focus of the TITAN organisation.

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A statement released by Cheshire police states: “For several months, Cheshire Constabulary has conducted an investigation into alleged improper conduct at Cheshire East Council.

“The investigation has so far proved to be extremely lengthy and complex, and it is anticipated it will be many more months before a conclusion is reached.

“Now, in the interests of impartiality and to maintain the credibility of the ongoing investigation, a decision has been taken to pass the investigation over to officers at the regional TITAN unit.

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“We would like to stress that this decision has been made to ensure the integrity of the investigation and all those involved, in light of the fact that the Constabulary and the local authority enjoy a healthy, professional working relationship. No inferences should be drawn regarding the core investigative focus of the TITAN organisation.”

Cheshire police announced in January it had launched a criminal investigation into the awarding of Cheshire East contracts to Core Fit, a company run by then council leader Michael Jones’ physiotherapist Amanda Morris.

Cllr Jones has strenuously denied any wrongdoing.

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In February he stepped down as council leader citing ‘infighting’ in the Conservative party as the reason.

This week he told the press he would be resigning from the council once the police investigation is completed.