AN MP has called for a police authority chairman to resign after the force's finance director quit his job.

Harrogate and Knaresborough MP Phil Willis said Paul Adams, director of finance at North Yorkshire Police, had been made a "scapegoat" following a highly critical auditor's report into the way the authority handles it budget.

The force has confirmed that Mr Adams resigned on February 8. That was the same day that auditors revealed "significant weaknesses" in the authority's financial management and accounting procedures.

The report also said that insufficient information had been supplied to confirm that the significant increase in funds through a 76 per cent council tax increase in 2003 had been properly applied.

Mr Willis said: "I'm sure that this particular officer has been made a scapegoat for the systemic failures within North Yorkshire Police Authority. The audit committee report makes it quite clear that the authority didn't look closely enough at why they made the significant budget hikes.

"It's more than just about finding a convenient scapegoat, it's about asking what's wrong with the finances within North Yorkshire Police."

A spokesman for North Yorkshire police confirmed that the head of finance, David Chefneux, became acting director of finance on February 8.

However, he would not comment on the reasons for the departure of Mr Adams.

Authority chairman Jane Kenyon said: "I'm not prepared to comment on the thought processes of Mr Willis except to say that the director of finance is the chief constable's appointment and not the police authority."