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Last Updated: Tuesday, 19 April, 2005, 15:47 GMT 16:47 UK
City council leader to step aside
Charlie Gordon
Charlie Gordon has led the council since 1999
The leader of Glasgow City Council, Charlie Gordon, is standing down.

The 53-year-old Labour councillor - whose wife Emma is expecting a baby in July - said he would not be seeking re-election to the post next month.

He said he was "looking forward to having a better work/life balance" but added that he hoped to stand for the Scottish Parliament in the future.

Councillor Stephen Purcell has been tipped as the likely replacement for Mr Gordon, who has been leader since 1999.

The council's ruling Labour group will elect his successor at its annual general meeting next month.

Big change

Last year Mr Gordon said council leaders had a "shelf life" of about seven years.

Giving his reasons for stepping aside, Mr Gordon said he was facing "a big change in my personal circumstances" with the birth of his child.

"I had recently privately decided to stand down as leader at our 2006 AGM," he said.

I am looking forward to having a better work/life balance, but I remain a political animal
Charles Gordon

"But, inevitably, there has been speculation as to my successor and while I feel that I could have retained the support of the majority of our Labour group for one more year, I recognise that the speculation would have continued throughout the year, to the detriment of the administration, the council and the city."

He said he would continue to represent his constituents and stated his willingness to serve the administration in the future, if required.

"I am looking forward to having a better work/life balance, but I have been active in Glasgow's Labour movement for 36 years and I remain a political animal," he said.

"Indeed, I intend to seek election to the Scottish Parliament, where I feel that my knowledge, experience and ability could be deployed to Glasgow's advantage."

'Full potential'

He said he was proud of what the council had achieved during his time as leader, but admitted that more still needed to be done.

"We cannot rest until poverty is history in our city and every Glaswegian can develop to their full potential," he said.

"Glasgow is no longer the 'second city of the empire', nor is it still the 'workshop of the world'.

"It is 'Scotland with Style', but it must strive to complete its transformation from a post-industrial city to a post-welfare city."

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