A senior Conservative councillor has been cleared in an investigation over a controversial newsletter he wrote accusing the council of favouring a former Mayor.

Leader of Sutton Council, Sean Brennan, referred Conservative councillor Tony Shields to Standards for England over an article he printed in a newsletter.

The article, which featured in Mr Shields' Sutton South Annual Report in the summer, ruffled feathers among the Liberal Democrat-controlled council.

Councillor Shields raised concerns with constituents over the value the taxpayer was getting out of Wentworth Hall in Carshalton.

The building has been leased to a religious group run by former mayor Lal Hussain since 1996.

Mr Shields, said Councillor John Drage had allowed the building to be let on "very favourable terms indeed."

Coun Brennan took exception to the inference of corruption and complained to the national standards board.

In throwing out Mr Brennan's complaint, the board wrote: "Councillor Shields is entitled to question the basis on which the council decisions are made...."

Last year, Lal Hussain told the Sutton Guardian: "We pay full whack. For the first five years we paid £5,000 rent requested, then we paid £6,500 and now we are paying £8,000."

An unfurnished office space, just 100 metres from Carshalton Village centre and a quarter of Wentworth Hall's size is currently available to rent at £11,000 a year. For around the same amount the council is charging for Wentworth Hall, an office is available on Wrythe Lane in Carshalton which is an eighth of Wentworth hall's size (500 sq ft).

Coun Shields said: "When Lib Dem council bosses face scrutiny from opposition councillors on selling valuable public assets, they must not then use internal complaints procedures reserved for serious matters to attempt to subdue and stifle criticism.

"The public have a right to know what the Council is up to and who they are selling assets to and why.

"I owe it to my residents to continue to speak out on contentious issues. My concerns on the Wentworth Hall sale remain intact and I request much clearer transparency on the issue."