The backlash over Sir Stuart Rose’s dual role of chief executive and executive chairman at Marks & Spencer faces renewed opposition, this time from the Local Authority Pension Fund Forum (LAPFF).

The body, which owns about 2 per cent of the retailer, is opposed to Rose potentially holding the dual role for the next three years and has written a letter to former chairman Lord Burns, calling for the role to be separated at M&S’s next AGM.

LAPFF chairman Ian Greenwood wrote: “If a blue-chip company such as M&S announces its intention to breach fundamental governance principle for three years, what message does this send?”

Greenwood believes that Rose has been made too important to M&S and if he did decide to leave or needed to take time off for some reason, then the company would suffer.

An M&S spokesman said: “The board has stated its reasons [for the dual role appointment] and Stuart’s re-election was backed by the AGM earlier this month.”