Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville is taking a leave of absence after he became embroiled in a scandal surrounding a former councillor who admitted child porn charges.

Mr Glanville was suspended by Labour after he was pictured at a party last May with newly elected councillor Tom Dewey on the same day he had been informed of Dewey’s arrest.

The borough leader, who was first elected as mayor in a by-election in 2016, announced yesterday evening (September 4) that he was taking a leave of absence.

He said: “I’m taking a leave of absence to support the Labour investigation process and to allow the council to continue to serve the residents of Hackney during this period.”

Dewey was elected as a Labour councillor for De Beauvoir in early May last year and resigned on May 16.

He was given a 12-month suspended sentence last month after admitting five charges of possessing 1,850 indecent images of children.

Hackney Gazette: Glanville (right) and Dewey (left) pictured together at a party last yearGlanville (right) and Dewey (left) pictured together at a party last year (Image: Supplied)

Mr Glanville said: “Being with Tom Dewey at all on May 14 was clearly an error of judgement for which I wholeheartedly apologise.

“I was told of his arrest, but not the full extent of the charges, in a brief discussion with the council chief executive the same day.

“I shouldn’t have been at the event in which we were photographed but I did so as I feared to cancel the event, or not attend myself, may alert Tom to what I knew, during what I understood to be a live criminal case.”

Glanville had previously said he had not spoken to Dewey after he was told of the arrest.

Deputy Mayor Anntoinette Bramble, who has responsibility for education, young people and children’s social care, will step in as mayor.

Hackney Gazette: Anntoinette BrambleAnntoinette Bramble (Image: Supplied)

The Conservative party, which is the lead opposition group on the council, has been contacted for comment.

Leader of the second opposition, the Green party’s Zoë Garbett said: “Any investigation must look at the circumstances around the arrest and raid, not just the recently surfaced photograph.

“We cannot wait too long for further action to be taken.”

She added: “I am appalled by Glanville’s conduct. It is unfathomable both that he attended the party with Dewey after learning of the charges, and that he then claimed he had no contact with Dewey at this time.

“These events call both his judgement and his honesty into account and have resulted in his suspension from the Labour party.

“His position as mayor seems increasingly untenable and we support calls for his resignation."

Campaigners calling for Mayor Glanville’s resignation said they still plan to protest outside the Town Hall from 5pm on Wednesday (September 6).

Clair Battaglino, who stood as an independent in last year’s council elections, said: “We will still be there. A leave of absence is very different from a resignation.

“No doubt he thinks it will all be forgotten in a few weeks. We will not be fooled.”