Former Glasgow council leader Steven Purcell leaves 'rehab clinic'

STEVEN Purcell, the former leader of Glasgow City Council, was recovering today after being treated at a private rehab clinic which specialises in alcohol and drug addiction.

• Mr Purcell is expected to continue in his role as a councillor

Mr Purcell, seen as a rising star in the Labour Party, stunned colleagues yesterday by unexpectedly quitting his post at Scotland's biggest council on health grounds.

His representatives said he was suffering from stress and exhaustion.

The 37-year-old blamed the pressure of planning the 2014 Commonwealth Games and recent difficulties with transport body Strathclyde Passenger Transport (SPT) for his illness.

A public relations firm appointed by Mr Purcell today issued a statement saying he was recuperating after being treated at Castle Craig hospital in Peeblesshire.

According to its website, Castle Craig is "one of Europe's top rehab clinics" and specialises in residential treatment of patients for alcohol and drug addiction.

The secluded clinic sits in 50 acres of parkland and woods in the Borders countryside, around 20 miles from Edinburgh.

A statement issued by PR boss Jack Irvine, of Glasgow-based Media House, said: "Councillor Steven Purcell is no longer a patient in Castle Craig Hospital.

"Councillor Purcell is recuperating with family and he asks the media to allow him time and space to recover to full health."

Mr Irvine would not say what treatment Mr Purcell had received. He added: "Health is a private matter." It is understood Mr Purcell left the clinic yesterday.

Proceedings to choose a new leader will begin later in the year, probably after a general election. Until then, the role will be filled by Mr Purcell's deputy Jim Coleman.

Mr Purcell was elected to the post of council leader in 2005 when he was 32-years-old.

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