The suspended general secretary of the largest college lecturers' union has stood down amid allegations of incompetence, leaving his union to embark on its annual conference without a leader.
John Akker, the newly-deposed leader of the National Association of Teachers in Further and Higher Education, accepted an early retirement package after a key National Executive sub-committee passed a unanimous vote of no confidence in him.
However, it is understood Mr Akker, who had two years on his five-year contract left to run, may mount a legal challenge against his former union over the procedures used to oust him. His departure leaves NATFHE leaderless for its conference, starting in Scarborough on Saturday. There are understood to be six contenders for the general secretary's post.