COUNCIL chiefs are taking legal advice before answering questions about a mystery tape recording alleged to contain a conspiracy to smear the leader of Wirral Tory group.

The council’s chief executive, Graham Burgess, pledged to carry out an independent investigation if the tape - on which a senior councillor is also alleged to use unacceptable language about a top town hall official - is handed in.

Tory leader Cllr Jeff Green caused eyebrows to be raised last night when he quizzed the leader of the council, Cllr Phil Davies, during a question time session.

As the full council met for the final time this year, Cllr Green said: “The leader refers to his success in changing the council’s culture.

“Is he aware of a tape recording, produced as recently as August this year, in which it is alleged that a senior member of his administration can be heard using language about a senior officer that is totally unacceptable - and encouraging former council employees to smear me to take the pressure off his own colleagues and gain political advantage?

“If he is aware, what action has he taken?

“And what does this do for his assertion that the culture is changing in his group?”

Councillor Davies replied: “I need to take some legal advice on what, I believe, are unsubstantiated rumours.

“I will take this advice and write to him.”

After the meeting, Mr Burgess told the Globe he could not comment on unsubstantiated rumours.

He said: “I have not heard any tape.

"I would actually call on Cllr Green - or anybody else - if they have a tape which they think is worthy of investigating to give it to me.

“I assure them there will be an independent investigation into any tape - if it exists.”