A council leader says the council has "no doubt" over the appointment of a senior officer who left two previous authorities with sizeable payoffs.

Three Rivers District Council's interim chief executive David Hill started on Monday after being formally appointed by the council last week.

He left his post as joint chief executive of South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse district councils in June 2017 after less than a year.

Papers leaked to the Oxford Mail showed there had been "a loss of trust and confidence" and "a fundamental breakdown in working relationships". A pay-off of £180,000 was agreed.

The Oxford Mail reported that the councils considered suspending him from his post but secret council report said a pay-off was preferable because a ‘thorough investigation’ would have ‘tied up’ officials.

Mr Hill left Guildford Borough Council in 2013 after a four-month investigation into his conduct. He was made redundant with a payout of £160,000.

He was also chief executive of Humber NHS Foundation Trust in 2016, when it was rated by the Care Quality Commission as inadequate at providing a safe service and needed improving in three other areas

Mr Hill was one of five candidates shortlisted and four interviewed for the post of interim chief executive at Three Rivers after the sudden departure of chief executive Dr Steven Halls in June.

Council leader Cllr Sara Bedford said: “David was appointed from a shortlist of five well-qualified candidates, after an interview by a politically mixed panel of councillors. There was discussion, but no dissent from us on who should be appointed. Due diligence was undertaken and references taken up.

“We have no doubt that he is the best candidate for the interim post and are already enjoying working with him.”

Cllr Bedford explained that an internal appointment to interim chief executive was not made because this would only have created another vacancy at a senior level in the council.

A report to the full council meeting says Mr Hill will be paid £977 a day and will be in post for 29 weeks, working four days a week - a total of £113,332. He will not be paid for sick days, holidays or receive pension contributions.

The Observer understands that as an interim chief executive he has no permanent contract, a notice period of one month, and would receive no redundancy pay off.

The council has already appointed an agency to begin recruitment of a permanent chief executive. It is hoping to interview candidates in November and make an appointment in December.