Bexley councillor Munir Malik has been asked to leave from the board of the Co-Operative Group after he was suspended for allegedly misrepresenting his qualifications.

News Shopper reported four weeks ago how Mr Malik, Labour councillor for Thamesmead East and the finance spokesman for the Bexley Labour group, was been being investigated over the claim, made when seeking election to the Co-op board, that he was a chartered accountant.

Mr Malik, of Cambridge Avenue, Welling, said it was an "honest mistake" he made when filling out his paper work. He explained he failed to add the word "former accountant" to his forms.

In an honest interview Mr Malik opened up about the incident and said it was a "disappointing" situation.

Mr Malik was also suspended by the Labour Party after it became aware of the investigation.

A spokesman for the Co-Operative group said: "At the request of the Board, Munir Malik has left the Board of The Co-operative Group with immediate effect."

Mr Malik is also standing down as a councillor as of this week. He was a member on Bexley Council between 2002-2006 and his latest term was from 2010 until now.

He said: "I made the decision last year to stand down because I want to spend more time with my family.

"It's an unfortunate end but I am proud of what I have done and have achieved.

"I have been honest and straightforward and used my financial skills with my extensive experience to help the council.

"I don't know if I will stand as a councillor again but I still have quite a lot of enthusiasm and energy.

"I will see how things go but if the people want me then I may stand again but for now I just want to take some time out."

The probe into Mr Malik by Co-op board members was initiated after chief executive Euan Sutherland launched a review of the group’s records.

Mr Sutherland himself quit in March after declaring the organisation is "ungovernable".

Teresa O'Neill, Conservative leader of Bexley Council, told News Shopper last month the allegations were "shocking" and "sad".

Mr Malik added: "I took up articles and started training as a chartered accountant in 1967 and qualified in October 1974, after satisfying the Institutes requirements as to education, approved training and examinations.

"I automatically ceased to be a member of ICAEW on 25 March 1991, due to the very unfortunate events of that day. "Since 25 March 1994, I have the right to reapply for membership of ICAEW, as my qualification was still valid.

"All my working life has been spent as a former chartered accountant, having qualified as an FCA, as a senior auditor and as a senior manager in the profession, in Industry and in local government.

"I gained extensive expertise in the world of finance, audit and management, which has given me the basis for playing an effective role as the shadow cabinet member for finance and corporate services and on the Audit and Pension Committees as a local councillor."