Labour councillors face suspension

Allegations of corruption have swept through Labour councils across the country in the past few months.

Christian Wolmar
Tuesday 23 September 1997 23:02

Labour is expected to take tough action against nine Glasgow councillors accused of bringing the party into disrepute over allegations of junketing and misusing a council fund.

A report on the allegations is due to be presented today to Labour's ruling National Executive Committee and is expected to show that there was widespread abuse in Glasgow of the way that conference trips and other visits were allocated to councillors.

It will also say that a special fund, the Common Good Fund, which is under the control of the provost, (the equivalent of mayor south of the border) was misused because it was used to allow councillors to go on trips. The report is deeply critical of the whole management of the Labour- controlled council.

The report is based on interviews by a team of investigators with 37 of Labour's 75 councillors, but the publication of the report was delayed to ensure it did not interfere with the devolution vote.

Four councillors - Pat Lally, the provost, Bob Gould, the leader, Alex Mosson, the Deputy Provost, and Gordon MacDiarmid, the deputy leader - are all likely to be recommended for suspension. Five other councillors, who do not hold senior positions on the council, are likely to be recommended for expulsion.

Charges of bringing the party into disrepute are likely to be drawn up against all nine and passed to the party's national constitutional committee which will decide what action to take.

Firm action is assured. Tony Blair is anxious to show that Labour will not tolerate sleaze in its ranks. Similar action is likely to be taken against Labour councillors in Doncaster where investigations are being carried out by the police, the Labour party, the district auditor and the council itself.

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