MIKE STOREY will today hand in his resignation as leader of Liverpool City Council. It will bring to an end a 7 1/2-year reign during which he has overseen a huge transformation in Liverpool.
The 55-year-old Liberal Democrat has decided to step down "in the best interests of the city" after admitting his mis-conduct over the infamous email dossier with suspended council media chief Matt Finnegan.
It appeared to show the two men planning to ease the departure of council chief executive Sir David Henshaw from Liverpool after he expressed his intention to retire.
Cllr Storey has written to the Standards Board for England, who are currently investigating the matter, to apologise and admit his guilt in the affair. Their report is expected next week.
Liberal Democrat members will this morning receive their leader's resignation letter by post while cabinet members were informed personally by phone late last night.
The council leader took his decision earlier this week but informed only a handful of key confidantes and his small personal staff in Municipal Buildings.
Attempts by at least one of those confidantes to persuade Cllr Storey to stay on as leader fell on deaf ears, although he will continue as the city's longest- serving councillor from the back benches, representing his Wavertree constituency.
In an exclusive interview with the Daily Post last night, the council leader admitted the "highly destructive" actions of some council officers were part of the reason behind his decision to go.
Cllr Storey said: "I am resigning for a number of reasons.
"First of all because I have broken the members' code of conduct. You can't have codes of conduct - which are meant to ensure the highest standards of propriety in local government - if the leader of the council breaks them, you can't do that.