SNP council leader 'facing confidence vote' amid sexual misconduct claim

The leader of North Lanarkshire Council is facing a possible confidence vote after an allegation of sexual misconduct was made against him.

Jordan Linden, 27, secured the £45,000 council leader role in May, but is now facing calls to step down from opposition figures.

It comes after the Sunday Mail reported claims that he had made unwanted advances towards a teenager at a party in Dundee in September 2019.

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Jordan Linden

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The councillor was described as being “very drunk”.

The incident is said to have happened in a flat after the city’s annual Pride parade.

The Herald reported Mr Linden has now been urged to resign by North Lanarkshire’s Labour opposition leader Jim Logue.

Mr Logue is said to have "made it abundantly clear" that Labour considered him unfit to be leader, and warned Mr Linden he will likely face a confidence vote in a special council meeting next month if he does not step down.

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Labour has 32 of the council's 77 seats, while the SNP has 36. There are five Tory councillors, two independents, one Green and one British Unionist.

Mr Linden had been nominated for selection to be a candidate in the 2019 Westminster election, but announced he would not be standing four days after the alleged incident in Dundee. He said he wanted to “re-focus on my important work locally in council and on my own health and wellbeing”.

The Sunday Mail reported that party bosses were made aware of the alleged incident.

It comes amid wider criticisms over how the SNP handles complaints.

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Patrick Grady, the party’s former chief whip in Westminster, was recently suspended from Parliament for two days after he was found to have made an “unwanted sexual advance” towards a teenage SNP staffer in 2016.

The party had previously attempted to resolve the matter informally, and Mr Grady had been allowed to keep his chief whip job. He quit after his behaviour came to light.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Grady said: “I apologise to the complainant without reservation for my behaviour and for the distress and upset it has caused him.”

The SNP and North Lanarkshire Council’s leadership office were contacted for comment about Mr Linden and the possible confidence vote.

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