EXTERNAL auditors have been appointed by Lancashire County Council to investigate the authorisation of grants when the authority’s Labour leader Azhar Ali was cabinet member for health at the authority.

Pendle Hill Tory Cllr Christian Wakeford has claimed £500,000 was given the go-ahead without the proper procedures being followed.

Nelson East representative Cllr Ali said: “This is about process and there is no question about the validity of the grants themselves.

“I am happy to co-operate with the external auditors in any investigation.”

A spokeswoman for the county council said: “External auditors have been appointed and the investigation is now underway. We are unable to comment further at this time.”

The original allegations were made in December.