Steven Purcell faces police probe over £50k grant

STEVEN Purcell, the disgraced former head of Glasgow City Council, is the subject of a police investigation into alleged corruption.

Strathclyde Police are examining documents to check whether Purcell used undue influence to secure a 50,000 contract for his friend and fellow councillor, Ruth Black.

It is claimed that officers from the Major Crimes and Terrorism Unit are examining the case. Yesterday a spokesman said: "Strathclyde Police are assessing the information available to them, therefore it would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this stage."

SNP councillors received a tip-off regarding potentially incriminating information over the award of the running of the city's publicly funded lesbian and gay drop-in centre, which they then passed on to the police.

Ruth Black, 45, previously headed the centre, but it collapsed owing 300,000 in April 2009, two years after she resigned.

Two rival bids were made to create a successor, one by Glasgay, an established organisation, and a second by Black, to set up a new organisation called Castro.

When it was announced that Castro had won, SNP councillors complained about the decision, which was later reviewed by a second committee with a Labour majority.

Yesterday Ruth Black said she receives no financial remuneration from Castro and had only agreed to run it until it was established.

She said: "The fact that the decision was so carefully scrutinised by the council will be in my favour."

Meanwhile, Strathclyde Police have said they plan to question Purcell over his admission of cocaine use printed in a recent newspaper interview. The former council leader, who quit his post on 2 March, had been visited by police concerned that he was making himself vulnerable to blackmail.

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