GREENWICH Council's leader has referred himself to the local authority's standards board following his sweary voicemail message - meaning there will now be two investigations into his conduct.

Councillor Chris Roberts has faced allegations of bullying since the message, left on cabinet member Councillor John Fahy's phone and telling him to "get that through your f***ing thick skull", was published by News Shopper.

The Greenwich Labour Group has already begun investigating those claims, led by the leader's chief whip Councillor Ray Walker.

In a surprise move, Cllr Roberts said today: "I can confirm I've referred myself to the council standards board following the message I left on Councillor Fahy's voicemail.

"A subsequent message of apology was also left on his voicemail the same day.

"I've also written privately to apologise to him.

"Nevertheless, I believe it's a proper course of action for the standard board to consider this matter."

This referral would be considered separately to the existing investigation and be heard at a meeting of the council's standards committee, which considers whether members have adhered to the council's code of conduct.

That committee is independently-chaired, has three independent members but also includes Conservative leader Councillor Spencer Drury, Cllr Walker and Cllr Roberts himself.

The leader's move has started speculation he may be trying to head off a public referral to the board due to a perceived conflict of interest over the Greenwich Starting Blocks Trust charity, which benefits from runner sponsorship in the Run to the Beat half-marathon.

His angry voicemail was sparked by Cllr Fahy's attempts to delay a decision on the race until the next administration, when the council will have a new leader.