A prominent councillor said his opponents are trying to silence him after a senior council officer filed a formal complaint against him for talking to this newspaper.

Conservative Councillor Tony Shields could face an investigation after a member of council staff made a formal complaint against him regarding comments he made to the Sutton Guardian earlier this year.

Coun Shields spoke to The Guardian about a secret meeting held to discuss plans to build flats above Times Square in Sutton Town Centre. The comments were published in the Guardian on May 30.

Council monitoring officer Sanjay Prashar has complained that, in speaking to the Guardian about a behind-closed-doors meeting, Coun Shields has breached the councillors' code of conduct.

The council's deputy monitoring will now investigate and consult an independent advisor to assess whether the code of conduct has been broken.

Coun Shields said: "The council is trying to silence me. It's an opposition councillor's job to hold the ruling party to account and that is what I do.

"I will not let the council bully me with scare tactics .

"This is a  political attack from council staff . Politics today likes political  robots, not people who want to speak their minds."

Coun Shields was last in hot water when he was hauled before Standards for England over comments he made about the council allegedly giving preferential treatment to a former Liberal

Democrat Mayor when agreeing the lease on Carshalton's Wentworth Hall.
Standards for England decided Coun Shields had been accurate in his comments after an investigation.

Your Local Guardian: Discounted? Wentworth Hall has been leased my Lal Hussain for MCWAS since 1996

Wentworth Hall

Coun Shields added: "I think this goes back to them not being able to nail me over Wentworth Hall. I think since then they've just wanted to get dirt on me and this is their final roll of the dice."

The the deputy monitoring officer concludes the code of conduct has been broken, a formal investigation could follow.