The co-founder of UNILAD has stepped down after an internal investigation into "allegations of historic misconduct" at the Manchester-based media firm.

A statement issued by the company confirmed that Sam Bentley has resigned from its board and stepped down from his position as co-CEO.

David Sefton, managing partner of Linton Capital LLP and a former barrister with company director experience, will fill in as interim executive chairman until an appointment is made.

The statement stated that “a small number" of other staff members are also facing disciplinary action.

"UNILAD is committed to the continued growth of its unique business brand while at the same time in all respects upholding the highest standards of ethical conduct," it read.

"The company will not tolerate any breach of this policy, as these actions clearly demonstrate.

"UNILAD's ongoing commitment to its staff, clients and many stakeholders remains absolute. Claims made against the company include many false allegations and substantial inaccuracies.

"Where the company has found particular claims to be substantiated, it has acted. Going forward the company will vigorously defend its reputation against untrue allegations."