Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon today attacked Labour’s silence over the Steven Purcell scandal and repeated calls for an independent inquiry.
The calls came as fresh revelations raised questions over how much the Labour party knew of Purcell’s drink and drugs problems.
This weekend saw the man tipped to succeed Purcell admit that he knew that Purcell had been interviewed in council chambers by drugs enforcement officers. Purcell was interviewed when police became aware of a video apparently showing the disgraced former Labour politician taking cocaine.
The admission by Labour councillor Paul Rooney, who has the support of Secretary of State Jim Murphy in his quest to replace Purcell, casts doubt on claims by council officials that everything is in the public domain and that there is no need for an investigation.
Miss Sturgeon said:
“Labour’s continued silence and their refusal not just of an independent inquiry, but even to release information around their former leader and the organisations he founded demonstrates on a daily basis that Glasgow needs SNP MPs to be the city’s champions.”
Nicola Sturgeon was joined by Glasgow East MP John Mason as the two were visiting the Mecca Bingo in the Parkhead area of the constituency.
Mr Mason accused Labour of taking Glasgow for granted and added:
“I care passionately about Glasgow. That’s why I stood in Glasgow East two years ago and that is why as the MP for this area I have put my constituents at the heart of everything I do
“From day one I have worked to champion the concerns of people in Glasgow East and to ensure their voice is heard at the heart of Westminster.
“When I hear Labour taking the city for granted, putting their own interests before their constituents and claiming to ‘own’ this constituency it makes me determined that people in Glasgow East and across the rest of the city should have the chance not to elect the usual politicians, but to elect strong local champions.”
Calls for an independent investigation into the goings on at Scotland’s largest local authority were thwarted last week after Liberal democrat councillors teamed up with Labour in a crucial vote.