LABOUR Councillor Harry Smith is to be suspended from the council for using foul language in the chamber, a panel has ruled today.

Cllr Smith, one of three members representing the Bidston and St James ward in Birkenhead, will serve a five-day suspension from the council between August 10 and 14.

The standards panel, which investigates allegations of misconduct by councillors, today decided on the penalty after investigating the evidence.

He has also been ordered to write a letter of unconditional apology to all the other 65 councillors.

The standards panel is made up of a representative from each of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat groups and chaired by an independent.

Cllr Smith made his four-letter tirade during a meeting of the full council on May 20 last year.

The Globe knows the remark he made but has decided against publication.

Two days later on May 22, at a resumed meeting of the council, Cllr Smith apologised to the chamber for having sworn - but insisted it was a response to Conservative members swearing at him.

It's understood that explanation was not accepted, however.

A council spokewoman this afternoon confirmed that Cllr Smith will be suspended between August 10 and 14.

He has three weeks to appeal against the decision.