A FORMAL investigation has been launched into a senior councillor calling a colleague 'the fat controller' during a meeting.

Pendle Council’s corporate director Philip Mousdale has confirmed the probe into a complaint by ex-Tory group leader Cllr Joe Cooney.

He claims the remark by his Liberal Democrat counterpart Tony Greaves was 'unacceptable'.

Cllr Cooney said: “I’m pleased this latest case is being taken seriously. As I said when I stepped down as Conservative Group Leader earlier this year, the bullying and intimidation councillors are subject to by Cllr Greaves has become completely unacceptable.

" I now hope council officers take the matter seriously and ensure this bullying and intimidation which has festered within Pendle Council for years is dealt with.”

Cllr Greaves said: "I think Joe Cooney and the Conservative group should concentrate on running the council rather than wasting officers time on trivial complaints such as this."

Mr Mousdale said: “I have received a complaint from Councillor Cooney which is being investigated.”