FORMER Lancashire County Council leader Geoff Driver has accused its current Labour bosses of putting up a ‘smokescreen’ over contract problems to hide their own shortcomings.

On Thursday, the authority’s ruling cabinet extended 48 contracts with suppliers, worth £17.9million a year, because procedures to renew them had not been undertaken.

Deputy leader of the county’s ruling Labour group David Borrow blamed the Tories, in charge of County Hall until a year ago, for the problem.

Conservative Coun Driver said: “He is putting up a smokescreen for Labour’s failings.

“When we took over from them in 2009, procurement was in a mess.

“With the BT One Connect contract we made progress.

“Labour has now cancelled that for politically-motivated reasons and this is their way of trying to cover the fact they have made things worse.”