An East London college at the centre of allegations of homophobia and mismanagement came under further pressure tonight after a local authority launched a new investigation.

Newham College suspended its Head of Peforming, Mark Walcott, last month after a recording of his comments about gay teachers appeared on the internet.

The college Principal is on leave of absence after the Board of Governors ordered an independent investigation. Now Newham Council is demanding assurances from the college about 39 students whose fees are paid by the Council- of them vulnerable adults.

A spokesperson at the Council said: "The council’s primary concerns are that students - young people and adult learners - receive a high quality education and qualifications that everyone can have confidence in. In addition, we want to be confident that public money is being spent appropriately. The council has commissioned an independent review of all outcomes - including qualifications and job starts - where Newham Council has paid the college for services."

The latest development came after a group of whistleblowers compiled a new dossier of allegations, including fraud and corruption.

The college has released a statement: "We are very keen to tackle any concerns in a robust and comprehensive manner, and would urge anyone with evidence of malpractice to send this to us directly so that - like any successful college - we can continue to improve our offer to the local community. If broadcasters and individuals choose not share evidence with us, it is understandably harder to make the full and frank investigations we are keen to. On matters covered by the ongoing independent inquiry, we have already made clear that it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this stage."