Dornan attacks Labour Leaders ‘Wall of Silence’ over Glasgow

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The leaders of the Labour party in Scotland have been strongly criticised over their inaction in relation to the mounting scandals that have embroiled the Labour group at Glasgow Council.

Glasgow SNP Leader of the Opposition, Councillor James Dornan, has again written to senior Labour figures in Scotland urging them to carry out an investigation and has accused Iain Gray and Jim Murphy of hiding behind a “wall of silence”.

 

The leaders of the Labour party in Scotland have been strongly criticised over their inaction in relation to the mounting scandals that have embroiled the Labour group at Glasgow Council.

Glasgow SNP Leader of the Opposition, Councillor James Dornan, has again written to senior Labour figures in Scotland urging them to carry out an investigation and has accused Iain Gray and Jim Murphy of hiding behind a “wall of silence”.

Councillor Dornan said: “After months of revelations and a distinct lack of action, I wrote to Labour Leaders in Scotland – Iain Gray MSP, Jim Murphy MP and the Secretary of the Labour Party in Scotland – calling on them to instigate an investigation into Glasgow Labour.
 
“After two weeks I am still waiting for an acknowledgement never mind a full response.  Murphy, Gray and co. should recognise that hiding behind a ‘wall of silence’ will not do anything to deal with Labour’s problems in Glasgow, nor see a change in the way this city is run.

Scandals
Glasgow Labour has been dogged by scandals ever since Labour boss Steven Purcell’s fall from grace earlier this year.  The former leader of Scotland’s largest local authority fled the country after admitting using cocaine, it later emerged that he had been interviewed by drugs police who feared he could be targeted by gangsters.

After Purcell’s departure a string of revelations relating to the use of public cash at Labour fundraising events and the awarding of contracts to Labour party donors emerged.  More recently two Labour councillors were suspended from the party and are currently being investigated by Starthclyde police, one for financial irregularities involving a £50,000 council funded centre and another over claims of inappropriate telephone calls to a female colleague.

Mr Dornan added:
“Time and again, scandal, corruption and criminality have been revealed in Glasgow City Council’s Labour Group and for the sake of the city – and even the Labour Party – it has to be dealt with.

“An important part of Labour’s rehabilitation is to first of all recognise they have a serious problem, and then be open about the need to clean up the mess they have created. The way to do this is to have a full investigation into the murky goings on in Glasgow Labour highlighted over the last months. I urge them to get their heads out of the sand and take up this challenge immediately.”

 
The latest letter, dated Friday 27th of August 2010, is reproduced below:
 
      I write to you again today, as the Leader of the Opposition in Glasgow City Council, to raise the matter of the conduct of a number of your Labour Party elected members in recent months.
 
I wrote to you on Friday the 13th of August 2010 regarding the serious allegations of criminality and misconduct made against members of the Glasgow Labour Council group.  I have yet to receive a response from you.
 
As you are no doubt well aware there have been a number of unsavoury incidents uncovered involving Labour councillors in Glasgow during 2010, beginning with the forced resignation of Alistair Watson as Chair of SPT and the resignation of the Council Leader Steven Purcell. Since then there have been numerous allegations of:

  • drug taking
  • drug dealing
  • dodgy business relationships between Labour councillors and Glasgow businessmen
  • questionable land deals involving Commonwealth Games sites, developers and the Labour run council
  • cronyism in the appointment of Arms Length External Organisation chairs
  • corruption regarding the awarding of council tax payers’ money to the Castro organisation, run by a then Labour councillor and a close friend of the then Council Leader Stephen Purcell  
  • accusations of sexual harassment by one Labour Councillor on two of his female Labour colleagues and now       
  • the closing down of a much needed LGBT Centre as a consequence of, at best, the ineptitude of the council in awarding the contract to an organisation not fit for purpose 

Furthermore, there is the extremely serious matter of three Labour councillors being investigated by Strathclyde Police with offences relating to some of the examples above. Indeed, just this week one of these councillors was arrested by the Strathclyde Police for Breach of the Peace because of his inappropriate behaviour of a sexual nature.
 
As a senior member of the Labour Party in Scotland I’m sure you agree with me that this string of misconduct cannot be allowed to continue in Scotland’s largest city. It adds to the continual diminution of a once great political party but, more importantly, is casting a pall over this great city of Glasgow.
 
I urge you to use your good offices – at the earliest opportunity, given that time has been lost due to your inaction – to instigate an investigation to discover what has gone wrong within Glasgow Labour and support me in my call to Audit Scotland for a full and independent investigation into Glasgow City Council’s Labour Administration.
 
        I look forward to a speedy response on this matter.
 
        Yours sincerely
 
 
        Councillor James Dornan
        Leader of the Opposition
        SNP Member, Langside Ward