Wednesday, 31 March 2010




At tomorrow's meeting of Glasgow City Council the SNP will lead calls for
both a full statement from the council’s Labour leader and an independent
investigation into the recent activities of the council and its agencies -
particularly decisions made during the former leadership of Steven
Purcell. The SNP in Glasgow have focussed on three key issues that must be
addressed in an independent investigation, to ensure full transparency for
council tax payers and the good governance of the city of Glasgow council:

1) Who in the council - at both elected member and official level - knew
that Councillor Purcell had taken illegal drugs and was at risk of
blackmail; why was no action taken and why was this information concealed?
2) Both the SCDEA and Cllr Purcell himself considered there to be a risk
of blackmail. This raises concerns over the decisions made during his
time as leader and the potential of external influence on such decisions.
3) A series of newspaper reports have alleged that subsidiaries of Glasgow
City Council - set up by Stephen Purcell - directed money toward the
Labour party. City Building has admitted making such donations. Newspapers
have also raised questions over the allocation of contracts to Labour
donors. It must be demonstrated to taxpayers that council funds have
always been spent in their interests and not in the interests of
individuals, friends or donors.

Commenting ahead of the debate Cllr Dornan said:

“Labour has dodged the problems facing their leadership in Glasgow City
Council for weeks. It is now time for them to accept open and independent
scrutiny of their actions in relation to Cllr Purcell’s admission of
cocaine use and potential blackmail and the decisions made during that

“The drip drip of scandal and allegation is harming Glasgow’s reputation
and an independent inquiry is crucial if we are to restore the good name
of this great city.

“Labour has its hands on £2.4 billion of public money in Glasgow and the
council tax payers of this city deserve to know this money is being spent
for their benefit and their benefit alone.

“It is only independent scrutiny that can offer guarantees to the public
that the whole affair has been properly investigated. The idea of the
council investigating itself is simply ludicrous - we already have
evidence that it failed to act despite knowing the Council Leader was at
risk of blackmail and, that council subsidiaries like City Building have
donated directly to the Labour party.

“Former Cllr Purcell’s interview has made clear that people within the
council knew of his drug use and of the SCDEA’s concerns.

“For people within the council to be aware that the SCDEA – a body that
investigates drugs and organised crime - was concerned their leader was
exposed to blackmail in this way yet not to act is a very serious matter
and of legitimate concern to Glasgow’s citizens. Taxpayers deserve an
independent investigation so they can be assured there has been no undue
influence on Cllr Purcell or anyone else within the council.

“If Labour is confident they have nothing to hide then there is nothing to
fear from independent investigation and there will be real questions asked
of any party that tries to prevent a bright light being shone into the
corners of Glasgow City Chambers and Labour’s control of this city.”

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