The Labour leader of North Lanarkshire Council has survived a vote about his future after being bailed out by the Conservatives.

Jim Logue has been urged by the council’s SNP opposition to step aside pending a police enquiry into the financial activity of two council-linked companies he was involved in.

The Nationalists arranged a special meeting of the council on Monday to call for his exit, as well as the publication on internal audit reports into the issue.

The motions were defeated 40-33 when Labour and Tory councillors voted together.

SNP group leader David Stocks said: “We have put our case to the council on behalf of the public and the council has made its decision.

“The police must now be allowed to carry out their investigation without hindrance and we will not be making further comment on this issue until the police release their findings.”

Depute SNP leader Tom Johnston added: “It is incredibly disappointing that the Labour and Tory councillors have voted to withhold crucial audit reports from public scrutiny.

“The public are entitled information and despite this vote, we will continue to fight for openness and transparency for the people of North Lanarkshire.”

Paul Kelly, Mr Logue’s deputy, said the SNP were running a “smear campaign”, and said his boss had spent his career fighting the kind of practices he was “now falsely accused of”.

Council chief executive Paul Jukes said the council had never published investigative audit reports and each was different in terms of the legal issues and personal data it contained.

He said: “The council reaffirmed the principle that decision-making around audit reports should be for the chief executive's judgment. In making those decisions I will be guided by legal advice.

"I also have a duty to avoid anything which would inhibit internal auditors and undermine the effectiveness of their work."