Page last updated at 17:35 GMT, Friday, 5 March 2010

Purcell quits as city councillor

Steven Purcell
Mr Purcell resigned after serving as council leader for five years

The former leader of Glasgow City Council has resigned his council seat, it has been confirmed.

Steven Purcell said he had stood down as councillor for the Drumchapel and Anniesland ward "to take a period of rest and recuperation".

Mr Purcell quit as leader of the council on Tuesday.

He spent three days at a rehabilitation clinic in the Borders which specialises in treating drug and alcohol addiction as well as other conditions.

In a statement released on Friday afternoon, solicitor advocate Peter Watson of Levy McRae, the legal firm which is representing 37-year-old Mr Purcell, said: "Steven Purcell tendered his resignation today.

"He did so with much sadness but with great support from friends, family and many well-wishers from every part of the city.

"Steven has accepted advice that he must now concentrate on his health and well-being. As he steps out of public life, he now wishes to be left in peace and quiet. There will be no further comment."

A spokesman for the Labour party said: "Steven Purcell was a respected leader of Glasgow City Council and represented his ward with great commitment, as well as leading Glasgow's bid for the Commonwealth Games.

"It is clear that he is ill and so everyone in Glasgow will no doubt wish him a full recovery. This is no doubt a testing time for his family."

BBC Scotland revealed on Thursday how psychiatrist Dr Florian Kaplick, who carried out a medical assessment of Mr Purcell during his stay at the Castle Craig rehabilitation clinic near Peebles, said the Labour politician had not been treated for "a drug problem".

Never released

Mr Purcell had been admitted to the clinic on Sunday. Later that day, he was reported missing to Lothian and Borders Police, and was found after a search.

It is understood that before Mr Purcell resigned as council leader, officials at Glasgow City Council had been planning to say his resignation was to allow him to deal with "chemical dependency" issues.

But the planned statement was never released, and a spokesman for Mr Purcell subsequently insisted the chemical dependency claims were without foundation.

Mr Purcell's legal team has also reported the local authority to information watchdogs over allegations that someone at Glasgow City Council breached the Data Protection Act by leaking details about Mr Purcell's health to a newspaper.

The lawyers have also complained to the Press Complaints Commission about what they claim is the media's "harassment of a sick man".



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SEE ALSO
'No drug treatment' for Purcell
04 Mar 10 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Former leader leaves rehab clinic
03 Mar 10 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Council leader Purcell steps down
02 Mar 10 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
Profile: Steven Purcell
02 Mar 10 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West

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