The Liberal Democrat councillor who wrote a scathing letter slamming his group's backing of the South London Incinerator has been suspended.

Councillor Nick Mattey finally broke cover on his opposition against Beddington Lane energy recovery facility, set to be built by waste company Viridor, yesterday when he allowed the publication of a 1,500 word letter.

Following its publication, where he criticised his fellow Lib Dem councillors for standing "shoulder to shoulder" with Viridor and pledging to back the Stop the Incinerator's campaign to fight its construction, Coun Mattey was suspended from the group and told he will no longer be allowed to call himself s Liberal Democrat Councillor.

Coun Mattey has said he will now call himself an Environmentally Concerned Liberal Democrat instead.

His suspension, effective immediately, was confirmed in an email sent to the Beddington North member today at 10.23am by Coun Steve Penneck.

Coun Mattey likened his suspension akin to "having a boil lanced".

Coun Penneck's letter read: "Nick, this is to inform you, with much regret, that you are suspended from the Lib Dem Group with immediate effect. "This suspension is temporary pending an investigation by Ruth.

"Your suspension means that for the time being you should not call yourself a Liberal Democrat Councillor; will not have access to party facilities, such as Focus, to promote your views; will not receive circular emails to Lib Dem Councillors and will not have access to other benefits of membership of the Group, such as the Group room."

He added: Coun Ruth Dombey leader of the Lib Dem group that runs Sutton Council, would "be in touch shortly about how she proposes to conduct her investigation.

"She will wish to meet with you to hear your views on my decision.

"If she confirms your suspension you have the right of appeal to the group."

Coun Penneck concludes: "Given the effect your actions have had on the reputation of the Council Group, we will be publicising this decision to suspend you."