Page last updated at 13:39 GMT, Friday, 26 March 2010

Labour's Jim Murphy warns: 'Stop knocking Glasgow'

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Brian Taylor questions Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy

Scottish Secretary Jim Murphy has warned critics to "stop knocking" the whole city of Glasgow, after the resignation of its council leader.

Steven Purcell quit the post on 2 March, citing stress and exhaustion. Since then, allegations have emerged about how contracts were awarded.

In a BBC Scotland interview, Mr Murphy said the Labour Party was "more than one individual".

Police and the spending watchdog have rejected calls for a probe.

Speaking on the eve of the Scottish Labour conference in Glasgow, Mr Murphy said he was "proud" of what the party was achieving in the city, as the council administration.

Let's not besmirch a whole city because of the behaviour of one individual
Jim Murphy
Secretary of state for Scotland

He said: "The Labour Party is more than one individual. I think what happened to Steven Purcell was a horrible situation for himself and his family. It was a personal trauma for him, but there are wider issues about Labour in Glasgow."

The Scottish secretary went on: "I just wish people would stop knocking Glasgow.

"We should be proud of Glasgow in the same way we're proud of Edinburgh, in the same way we're proud of Dundee with the games industry, in the same way we're proud of Aberdeen with the oil and gas industry.

"It's one individual who got himself into an awful lot of trouble in the way in which he lives his life.

"Now I don't happen to live my life that way. It's unfortunate and a personal tragedy for him that he chose to live his life in private in that way."

Mr Murphy said: "Let's not besmirch a whole city because of the behaviour of one individual."

It is understood Strathclyde Police will reject calls from SNP MP John Mason for an investigation into Glasgow City Council, a course of action already ruled out by Audit Scotland.

In a separate development, the council called on Mr Mason to provide evidence after allegations were made about the awarding of contracts by the local authority's construction firm, City Building.

Deputy Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon used her speech to the SNP conference last weekend to say it was "time to shine a light - a very bright light - into the murky corridors of Labour-controlled Glasgow City Council".



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SEE ALSO
Police 'to decline' council probe
25 Mar 10 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Council meets on Purcell decision
18 Mar 10 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West

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