A Labour council leader has been accused of taking the credit for something opposition Tories originally came up with.

Slough Borough Council leader, Sohail Munawar, was initially critical of a Conservative motion designed to stop big pay-offs being rubber stamped without the approval of full council.

He had branded the motion – put forward by Tory leader Wayne Strutton – ‘confused’. This had called for all redundancy or severance packages of £60,000 or above to require approval by the full council. Currently the amount has to be £100,000 or above to require an examination.

The motion was in response to a number of high-profile council members leaving with hundreds of thousands of pounds in severance payments.

But in a press release issued after the full council meeting on September 28, in which the motion was approved and adopted, the leader’s Labour Group appeared to claim the idea as their own. The release read: “At full council meeting on September 28, councillors passed a Labour motion giving councillors a greater say, and the public increased transparency about staff leaving the council.”

Cllr Munawar said in the release: “Reducing the amount of taxpayers’ money spent in this way has been a priority of mine and my cabinet since we came to office, and the most recent figures show we are making progress. However, more needs to be done, and this motion takes appropriate steps to move us further on this journey.”

Cllr Rayman Bains (Con, Upton), who had seconded the original motion, called the statement ‘fake news’ and demanded an apology. A spokesman for the Labour group explained that as the motion had been amended by them, it was acceptable to refer to it as a Labour motion under the Slough Borough Council constitution.

The amended measure requires that all pay-offs over and above a staff member’s statutory/contractual entitlement will come to council for approval – removing the £60k condition.

Cllr Bains said on Twitter: I’m not disputing it was slightly amended. The PR makes out it was a Labour motion.”