Lee Jasper, one of London Mayor Ken Livingstone's closest aides, was suspended today as he vowed to clear his name over allegations of misuse of public funds.
The move came after Mr Jasper, Mr Livingstone's adviser on equality and policing, asked the mayor to refer the allegations to the police "for thorough investigation".
Mr Jasper has been at the centre of a row over alleged funding irregularities involving community projects. London's Evening Standard claimed hundreds of thousands of pounds had been paid to the projects, with little or nothing to show for it.
Mr Jasper claimed the London Assembly had deliberately refused to hold hearings on the matter until March to "string out" the allegations and "divert attention from the real issues confronting London at the mayoral election".
Mr Jasper said today: "The deliberate aim of this delay is not to achieve clarity but to string out a series of unfounded and poisonous allegations in the media, and investigation by the police will clear my name and put a stop to this."
Mr Livingstone said: "I want to make completely clear the police have made no approach to me to refer these allegations.
"We are seeing an attempt at a trial by the media with the London Assembly not merely refusing to scrutinise but also preventing Lee Jasper answering these allegations even when he volunteers to do so and a police investigation will put a stop to this disgraceful political charade."
Mr Livingstone challenged Mr Jasper's accusers to take their evidence to the Metropolitan Police so a full investigation can be conducted.
He said: 'In agreeing Lee's request I have also made the extremely difficult decision that like any GLA officer subject to a police investigation, Lee Jasper will be suspended pending the outcome of the police investigation.
"I believe this investigation will exonerate Lee Jasper and show this to be a shameful campaign."
A spokesman for Scotland Yard said police will examine any material that is handed to it on any subject where there are claims of a criminal act in London.
The allegations against Mr Jasper involve grants to community projects from the London Development Authority (LDA). An internal review by the LDA cleared Mr Jasper last month.
But members of the London Assembly have since called for an independent inquiry. The LDA is still investigating the funding of 13 projects.
The issue has also raised questions over relationship between Mr Livingstone and his advisers and the power they wield at City Hall.Reuse content