SNP facing calls to suspend betting probe councillor

Henry McClelland is alleged to have placed over 4,000 bets
Henry McClelland is alleged to have placed over 4,000 bets
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There are calls for the SNP to suspend a recently elected councillor after he was charged with placing more than 4,000 bets on football matches.

Henry McClelland, chairman of Annan Athletic, has been issued with a notice of complaint by the Scottish Football Association after being accused of breaching strict rules on gambling.

He is alleged to have placed more than 550 bets involving his own team, including four placed against the club.

In total, he is said to have placed 4,011 bets dating back to July 2011.

Mr McClelland was elected to Dumfries and Galloway Council at last week’s council elections.

Labour general election candidate in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale Douglas Beattie said: “These are very serious allegations. People in Dumfriesshire deserve better than this, so the SNP must suspend Henry McLelland as a matter of urgency.

“After the Michelle Thomson and Natalie McGarry scandals, this raises more questions about the SNP’s vetting process.”

In a statement, Annan Athletic said: “Annan Athletic Football Club recognise the complaint that has been raised by the Scottish Football Association (SFA) and the club will co-operate fully with the enquiry.

“In the interim, the club will offer its support to the chairman until the matter is resolved.”

Also charged yesterday was Inverness midfielder Lewis Horner, who is alleged to have placed 12 accumulator bets during the period from 1 July, 2011 to 30 June, 2012, including two which featured bets against his own club.

In a statement, his club said the player had previously suffered from problems with gambling and had sought professional help. It added: “He is very contrite and is extremely embarrassed to have brought this upon himself and the club.