Calls for SNP to suspend councillor
OPPOSITION parties have called on the SNP to suspend a Glasgow councillor who has been accused of acting in an abusive manner and making sectarian remarks.
Russell Robertson, 59, appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court last week after being charged along with another man. Prosecutors at the court said the charge was aggravated by religious prejudice.
A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: “The charges brought about are serious enough for his suspension.”
Tony Curtis, a Tory councillor in Glasgow, said: “He should be immediately suspended from the SNP.” It is also understood Robertson will not undertake his duties as a baillie or as chair of a community planning partnership while the case is ongoing. Robertson was a Labour councillor in the city until he defected to the SNP in February 2016. At the time, he explained his political journey: “I was disillusioned with Westminster, the Smith Commission, The Vow not being met and Scotland being short-changed. It’s been a journey and I’ve moved on from Labour. It’s about looking forward now, not back.”
Robertson was welcomed to the SNP by senior party figures including First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who mentioned him during a speech in Govan after his defection. “A very, very, very warm welcome to our newest councillor, Russell Robertson. Welcome to the SNP,” she said.
Susan Aitken, then leader of the opposition SNP group on the council, also paid tribute to him at the time: “I’m very pleased to welcome Russell. In the interactions I’ve had with him, he’s always been very decent. He’s got a good reputation as a local councillor. He’s very highly regarded by community groups as hard working, which I think isn’t necessarily the case for all of the Labour councillors.”The SNP did not provide a comment.