Tory interim leader brands Glasgow's SNP council an '˜abject failure'

Scottish Conservative interim leader Jackson Carlaw has branded the SNP's first 18 months at the helm of Scotland's biggest council as an 'abject failure'.

The Scottish Conservative Conference interim leader Jackson Carlaw. Picture: John Devlin
The Scottish Conservative Conference interim leader Jackson Carlaw. Picture: John Devlin

The Tory MSP argued the Glasgow City Council minority administration has failed in a number of areas, from nursery charges to its response to the Glasgow School of Art fire.

Mr Carlaw was expected to focus on the SNP’s record in the city in his first major speech as interim leader at the party’s West Region conference on Saturday.

He is stepping for Ruth Davidson while she takes maternity leave.

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The SNP formed a minority administration in Glasgow after winning the highest number of seats in the 2017 local government elections, rebranding the ruling group of councillors as the “city government”.

The council came under fire earlier this year for accepting an anonymous donation of a Rolls Royce for use as the Lord Provost’s car.

The move came as the local authority prepared to increase nursery fees by 57%.

Meanwhile, the authority also attracted criticism over its response to two major fires in the city centre, including at the Glasgow School of Art in June.

Some businesses expressed frustration over lack of action to provide access and mitigate against lost trade.

Mr Carlaw said: “The SNP won power in Glasgow and immediately claimed it would change things for the better, even having the temerity to rebrand itself as a ‘city government’.

“But as we approach the 18-month milestone, it’s clear the SNP’s reign up to now has been an abject failure.

“Just like everything with the SNP, a host of warm-worded statements have been followed by inaction and disappointment.

“The people of Glasgow are now experiencing what those in other SNP-run administrations have endured for years.”

An SNP spokeswoman said: “The SNP have been a breath of fresh air for Glasgow and are totally focused on delivering better services for communities right across the city.

“The Tories can whinge from the sidelines if they want - but it is their colleagues’ shambolic Brexit plans which pose the biggest threat to jobs, living standards and local communities the length and breadth of Scotland.”