MYSTERY surrounds the reasons behind the sudden departure of Shropshire Council’s chief executive.

Clive Wright, who had been in the £140,000-a-year role since 2012, has left after a group meeting of the council’s 48-member ruling Conservative group.

Mr Wright has declined to comment on the decision, taken on Monday night, but thanked “all the amazing people” he worked with at the council and said it had been “a great privilege” to serve them and the residents.

The subject is likely to be discussed when all 74 Shropshire councillors meet at Shirehall tomorrow.

In a statement issued by the council on Mr Wright’s behalf, he said: “I have agreed with the leader that I will leave my post as chief executive of Shropshire Council with immediate effect.

“I want to place on record my heartfelt thanks to all the amazing people I have worked with here at the council and our partners and communities.

“It has been a great privilege to serve you and all the people of Shropshire as chief executive.

“Your exemplary response to the floods over the last eleven days demonstrates what being part of the public sector is about.

“I wish you and the council the very best for the future.”

A full session of Shropshire Council is due to take place tomorrow.

The council statement said Mr Wright’s departure had been agreed with council leader Peter Nutting.

Opposition Liberal Democrat leader Roger Evans has asked for an explanation for Mr Wright’s departure and an estimate of the costs.