Scottish council elections: Alex Salmond defends Glasgow SNP leader

Allison Hunter on the campaign trail with Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: Greg Macvean
Allison Hunter on the campaign trail with Nicola Sturgeon. Picture: Greg Macvean
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FIRST Minister Alex Salmond has defended the SNP’s leader in Glasgow ahead of the crunch election in the city on Thursday, saying she was a “great woman” with a community focus after a series of gaffes.

Allison Hunter has admitted that she had not “actually thought” what policies she would introduce if the SNP takes power in Scotland’s biggest city.

She also attracted criticism for apparently saying this week’s elections were a stepping stone towards achieving an independent Scotland during a debate last month.

Yesterday, Mr Salmond used a radio interview to voice his support for Ms Hunter.

He said “I looked exactly at Allison Hunter’s quote – what she said is the SNP is the party for independence and everybody knows that, but the priority was change in Glasgow for the people of Glasgow, that’s what she said and of course our opponents, who are no doubt entitled to do so, took the first half of the quote and forgot the second half.”

He went on to launch an attack on the Labour-led administration in Glasgow.

Mr Salmond said: “Well, I think Allison is a great woman, she is community orientated. I will tell you the difference between Allison and perhaps some other, how shall I describe it – city bosses – that Glasgow’s had in the past.

“When Allison, because I look at tweets and things, when Allison gets on her tweet, she talks about the people in Glasgow that’s she’s met in the campaign and the priorities they have.

“When the current city boss [Gordon Matheson] talks in his tweets, he talks about how great he was on television last night, and I think that’s maybe the difference between the two styles of leadership. So I go for community-orientated leadership – I think it is time for a change in Glasgow.”