A PUB ambassador who was suspended from his job after he was quoted apparently criticising rural landlords, is back at work.

Wear Valley District Council, County Durham, called temporary time on 52-year-old Len Alderson's £15,000-a-year job co-ordinating a new Mine Host campaign, following a report in a national newspaper.

He was said to have suggested that some drinkers and landlords in Weardale dislike incomers and did not want tourists - when his job is to encourage more people to visit the dale's pubs.

An internal council investigation resolved the issue and Mr Alderson is now preparing for the Mine Host project's official launch at Horsley Hall, Eastgate, in two weeks.

He was not speaking to the Press yesterday, but council regeneration director Bob Hope said he understood the issue had left no ill feeling in the dale's pub community.

He said: "As far as we are aware there is no problem. He has been told to get on with the job and that is what he is doing."

A council spokesman said: "We have conducted an internal investigation and can confirm that Mr Alderson has been reinstated as co-ordinator for the Mine Host Project.

"We are getting a lot of support for traders in advance of an official launch on March 24."