Conservative Party chairman Eric Pickles believes post of council chief executive should be abolished, it has been reported.
The Independent said Mr Pickles considered that the introduction of the leader and cabinet system at local authorities questioned the need for chief executives.
“I’m not entirely sure that paying a quarter of a million pounds for a chief executive of a large local authority is justified,” he said.
“To a degree, they are being paid like football managers. In a time when members have executive responsibilities, I’m not entirely sure that can be justified.”
The paper reported Tory insiders as accepting that the removal of incumbent chief executives may be impossible for contractual reasons. But it said the party was considering the possibility of merging the roles of chief executive and leader.
The Independent continued to quote former shadow communities secretary Mr Pickles as saying while he was not against high salaries, he believed chief executives should be paid in proportion to their responsibilities.
“A lot of council chief executives do not have that level of responsibility,” he said.