Calls for SNP to sus­pend coun­cil­lor

The Herald on Sunday - - THE WEEK - By Paul Hutcheon

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.

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