Page last updated at 13:25 GMT, Wednesday, 14 April 2010 14:25 UK

Manchester City Council leader steps down after assault

Sir Richard Leese
Sir Richard accepted the police caution

The leader of Manchester City Council has stepped down temporarily after he assaulted his 16-year-old step-daughter.

Sir Richard Leese, a Labour councillor, was arrested at his home in Crumpsall on Monday.

He was taken to Pendleton police station in Salford and was released on Tuesday after accepting a caution.

It is believed a complaint of physical assault was made by Sir Richard's step-daughter.

Ear injury

Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council, said: "Sir Richard Leese has written to Manchester City Council asking for a period of time out from his duties as leader of the council to resolve family issues.

"We respect this decision.

Councillor Val Stevens and Councillor Jim Battle
Councillor Val Stevens and Councillor Jim Battle will assume his duties

"During this period, his duties will be carried out by the deputy leaders of the council."

Greater Manchester Police said its officers were called to a property in Westbury Road in Crumpsall at 2300 BST on Monday following allegations that a 16-year-old girl had been assaulted.

"Police attended and spoke to the girl who had sustained a minor injury to her ear," it said in a statement.

"A 58-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of common assault and was cautioned in relation to the matter."

A police caution is a formal warning given to adults who admit they are guilty of a first-time minor offence.

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