Page last updated at 15:06 GMT, Thursday, 1 April 2010 16:06 UK

Council rejects Purcell inquiry

Steven Purcell
Steven Purcell admitted taking drugs while council leader

Glasgow City Council has voted against holding an inquiry into its own actions under former leader Steven Purcell.

An SNP motion asking for an independent investigation into "the practices and recent decisions of the council" failed to win enough support.

Instead, the Labour-dominated council backed an amendment which said there was no need for an inquiry.

Former Labour councillor Mr Purcell, 37, stood down last month citing stress and exhaustion.

He later admitted using cocaine and said this may have left him open to blackmail.

The motion from SNP Councillor James Dornan asked the council to note recent events and recognise "that the lack of clarity over events at a senior level risks damaging the reputation of Glasgow City Council".

It asked the authority to agree "that public trust can only be restored by being open and honest about what has happened".

Mr Dornan's motion also asked that the council "resolves that in order to move forward and put these damaging events behind us, a full statement is made by the acting leader".

This council is far bigger than one man
Councillor Jim Coleman
Interim leader, Glasgow City Council

It called for "an independent investigation be undertaken into the practices and recent decisions of the council, that the findings be published in full, and that lessons be learned from this process to ensure such a situation cannot arise again in the future".

The motion, however, only won the support of 23 councillors.

An amendment, saying there was no need for an independent investigation, was backed by 48 councillors.

During the debate, the council's interim leader Jim Coleman said there was no need for an inquiry.

He told fellow councillors that opponents had failed to put up evidence of wrongdoing and said he was confident in the authority's checks and balances.

By-election

Mr Coleman said he was shocked at revelations Mr Purcell was a cocaine user, but said: "This council is far bigger than one man."

Mr Purcell was first elected to Glasgow City Council in May 1995.

He served as convener of development and regeneration, then education, before becoming leader in 2005 at the age of 32.

A by-election in Mr Purcell's former ward of Drumchapel and Anniesland will be held on 6 May.

It will be run on the single transferable vote system. The closing date for nominations is 13 April.



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SEE ALSO
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Council meets on Purcell decision
18 Mar 10 |  Glasgow, Lanarkshire and West
MP wants police to probe council
15 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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