A SENIOR East Lancashire councillor has apologised after a town hall employee complained about his 'aggressive' behaviour.

The accusation against Cllr Sajid Mahmood, Hyndburn Council health and communities boss, is understood to have resulted in a preliminary hearing and may yet go before its full Standards Committee.

Approached by the Lancashire Telegraph with a copy of the complaint, the Conservative representative for Church ward who is up for re-election at May 2's local government poll said: "Yes I believe a complaint has been made about me by a staff member following a taxi liaison meeting.

"Obviously if I have caused offence, I apologise but can only say that my passion for supporting my local community and the hard-working taxi drivers can be misinterpreted.

"I was elected to work for my local area and am determined to achieve the best for my residents, the community and the hundreds of taxi drivers who need my help. They are my priority.

"This is a confidential matter and therefore I do not wish to disclose any further details.

"I have provided factual information pertaining to these circumstances and I trust this matter is now closed."

The complaint submitted to the council says: "It is with regret I feel I have to complain yet again about Cllr Sajid Mahmood.

"We have had a taxi liaison group meeting this morning.

"During the meeting he was rude and very inciteful.

"Unfortunately we have now learned to accept that is his usual behaviour and we are quite used to it.

"He contradicted and argues with everything the officers had to say although the trade members of the group had accepted and were happy with the position."

The complaint then describes a specific exchange of words between group members and says: "Cllr Mahmood then started shouting, banging the table and pointing saying: "This proves I was right."

The complaints says other officers in the building were alarmed at 'commotion' and feared 'something was kicking off in the meeting room'.

It concludes: "He is overtly aggressive at meetings as was demonstrated today to the point where he is out of control and loses any rationale to the discussion taking place.

"If a driver had behaved in that manner he would have been asked to leave the meeting.

"He does not act in the capacity of a portfolio holder rather more he is a trade representative for the drivers.

"He offers no support whatsoever to any member of the licensing department and we only hear from him when he is wanting to challenge us or be confrontational."

A Hyndburn Council spokesman said: "We do not comment on complaints during the investigation process."