Commenting on the decision by Glasgow City Council's Labour Group to boycott today's Special Council meeting on the issue of Serious and Organised Crime, James Dornan, SNP Leader of the Opposition said:
"Labour's contempt for Glasgow City Council and more importantly the residents of the city knows no bounds.
"Whilst we attempted to debate the important issues of serious crime and also standing united against racism and intolerance Councillor Purcell and his timid band of followers decided to boycott the meeting and have lunch instead.
"This is the third time my colleague Councillor McAllister has tried to raise the issue of serious and organised crime in the council chamber and the third time that Labour have refused to debate it. What exactly are they scared of?"
Councillor Billy McAllister, who tabled a motion on serious crime for the third time today, said:
"The people of Glasgow know that serious crime is a major issue in their city; the fact that Labour don't want to discuss it speaks volumes for their attitude towards the people of Glasgow.
"We have debated many major issues facing our city in the chamber, however the one issue which appears to be out of reach in open debate is the question of serious criminality. This is a bad day for democracy in Glasgow."
Councillor Dornan concluded:
"Labour's childish attempt to derail this important debate once again does nothing to raise people's opinion of politics. Arrogant behaviour such as this suggests that Labour think they can continue to take the people of Glasgow for granted. Glasgow deserves better.
"It's time that Labour realised that trampling on the democratic process hurts everyone - voters, victims of crime and eventually even politicians."
1. The special council meeting has been called by 20 councillors.
2. No Labour members attended today's meeting. The Lord Provost was in attendance to chair proceedings.
3. The special meeting was called after the Lord Provost ruled a motion on serious crime as "not relevant or competent". An earlier motion, in February 2009, fell after Labour Leader Councillor Purcell used standing orders to end the meeting of Full Council early.
4. A copy of today's agenda can be found here.