Stephen Byers, secretary of state for transport and local government, recently blocked a decision to appoint Lord Warner to the post after complaints from the Local Government Association.
But reports in the press claim academics and the commissioner for public appointments are questioning whether the LGA should have been consulted.
The dissent is being speaheaded by leading local government experts Tony Travers of the London School of Economics, according to a report in the FT.
Byers now has to decide whether to readvertise the post or turn to candidates who came behind Lord Warner in the original recruitment.
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