Opposition councillors are calling for the leader of Glasgow City Council to stand down after she did not declare an interest in a scheme which saw her husband’s company receive a council property for a rent of £1 a year.
Glasgow Labour leader Frank McAveety has reported Susan Aitken to the Standards Commission and called on her to resign over the incident.
In a letter to the council leader, he said the SNP’s manifesto in 2017 had pledged to bring “transparency” and openness” to democracy in Glasgow but has “failed”.
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Ms Aitken has also been accused of hypocrisy after it was reported during the 2017 council election campaign she had claimed decisions under the authority’s previous Labour administration were “not made so much as stitched up”.
Former council leader Mr McAveety described these as “unfounded allegations of wrong-doing”. He said Ms Aitken’s actions have caused “very real damage” to the council’s reputation.
However, an SNP source said the allegations were "false and shoddy" and the council has said she was not required to declare an interest.
The Meanwhile Spaces project, which started in June, saw 11 vacant shop units on High Street and Saltmarket handed over to clients working in the creative industries.
Ms Aitken’s husband Gordan Archer is a director of Sogo Arts, a lifestyle and arts magazine, which received a Saltmarket shop for just £1 a year. The council leader did not declare an interest during talks on the scheme.
A spokesperson for the authority said the leader had done nothing wrong and would be happy to disclose her husband's involvement at relevant meetings.
“The SNP have been in power in Glasgow for just over two and a half years,” Mr McAveety said.
“The SNP promised a new era of openness and transparency. They have failed the test they set themselves. Glasgow deserves better than this. Susan Aitken must do the right thing by Glasgow and resign.”
In his letter, the Labour leader wrote: “I ask: would a reasonable observer, whether rightly or wrongly, come to the conclusion that this represents a potential conflict of interest? Would a reasonable observer consider this to be sheer hypocrisy on the part of the administration?”
Just a few weeks ago, former Lord Provost Eva Bolander resigned after a controversy over her expenses. It was revealed she claimed £8,000 worth of items, including 23 pairs of shoes.
An SNP source hit back at the call for Aitken to quit.
They told the Times: “These false and shoddy allegations suggest things are desperate on the election doorsteps for Labour.
"Mr McAveety is deluded if he believes people forget that Glasgow Labour was the party of £550million discrimination against female workers, £500,000 golden goodbyes to anti-poverty tsars and awarding massive top-up payments to their own councillors to keep them in check.
“Maybe by reminding his colleagues of Glasgow Labour’s sense of entitlement Mr McAveety thinks he’ll shore up his own flagging support.”