OPPOSITION councillors have called Labour's decision to allow a former leader suspended over misconduct in the Ally Pally saga back into the party “utterly despicable”.

Councillor Charles Adje was suspended from Haringey Council for four months in March for his role in the saga, in which he withheld key information from trustees on the Alexandra Palace Trust Board.

Haringey Labour suspended Cllr Adje from the party after he was found guilty in March, saying his conduct was “well below the standards expected”, but this week let him return to the group he used to lead.

Councillor Richard Wilson, leader of Haringey's Liberal Democrats, said: “I find this utterly despicable - just weeks ago Labour agreed that Charles Adje's disgraceful conduct had cost local residents millions of pounds.

“It’s sickening that the people of Haringey could be treated with such contempt by this weak decision to readmit him “It shows that there is something seriously rotten at the heart of the local Labour party if they ignore such serious and ongoing failure. Charles Adje should not continue as a councillor.”

An independent report into the dispute estimated that losses to the charitable trust that runs the palace were in the region of £1.5m.

But the Labour group says that it takes any breach of the council code very seriously.

Chief Whip Councillor Pat Egan said: “Cllr Adje was suspended from his council duties for four months but our response was to take the toughest action available to us.

“As part of the process of his return, Cllr Adje is taking part in a programme of training and mentoring and his progress will be closely monitored.”

The High Court quashed the leasing of the palace to property developer Firoka, who were given permission to run Alexandra Palace on a 125 year lease in 2007 in a bid to make money from the historic landmark.

The company were evicted by the council in 2008, but during their occupation of the premises, all of the charitable trust's profits were given to the company, on top of expenses.