Aberdeen council co-leader accused of acting like 'playground bully'

The allegations were levelled against the SNP's Alex Nicoll by Labour councillor Deena Tissera.

Aberdeen City Council co-leader Alex Nicoll accused of being ‘playground bully’ iStock

The co-leader of Aberdeen City Council has been accused of acting like a “playground school bully”.

Claims of using his position on the council to “bully and intimidate” female councillors were levelled at the SNP’s Alex Nicoll by Labour councillor Deena Tissera.

She says she has written to the Standards Commission for Scotland – the independent body which seeks to uphold ethics standard in public life – over the behaviour of Nicoll.

At a meeting of the council on December 14, Tissera alleges that Nicoll continually interrupted her speech on the “pretence” over claims regarding her own behaviour towards council officers.

Nicoll said that it is “a bit rich” for the Labour councillor to behave in a “bullying and intimidatory” way towards senior council officers, before complaining when her behaviour is “called out”.

Aberdeen City Council were contacted by STV News but did not comment on the allegations.

Explaining her decision to write to the standards commission, Tissera suggested Nicoll had sought to intimidate those who disagree with his political views.

“I have decided to report councillor Nicoll who continues to act as the playground school bully at council for bullying and intimidation following the council meeting on December 14,” she said.

“Councillor Nicoll thinks that just because he has been elected council leader that he can use this power to bully and intimidate women councillors who disagree with his politics.

“At the council meeting it was clear that councillor Nicoll continued to interrupt my speech on the pretence of an attack on officers when officers themselves charged with good governance did not interfere or object, simply because there was nothing to object to.”

Tissera also hit out at the SNP group on the council in allowing Nicoll to behave in the ways she alleges.

The SNP has been contacted STV News regarding the claims made by the Labour councillor.

Tissera continued: “It is shameful that certain powerful woman councillors within the SNP group continue to allow councillor Nicol to behave as the playground school bully which is not becoming of a council leader.

“I fully accept that councillor Nicoll and I disagree on the way forward for Aberdeen, however councillor Nicoll must immediately stop this intimidation and bullying of women that has become a constant threat to democracy since the SNP took over.

“(Independent) councillor (Jennifer) Stewart and I will continue to have a voice in this chamber and no amount of bullying and harassment from councillor Nicoll will stop our voices from being heard.”

Nicoll responded to the allegations made against him, as he urged Tissera to “consider” her comments about the council’s chief executive.

He said: “It is a bit rich for councillor Tissera to behave in a bullying and intimidatory way towards senior council officers who have no right of reply and then complain when her behaviour is called out.

“I said it as the council meeting and I will say it again – councillor Tissera very much needs to consider her comments about our chief executive and apologise for her poorly thought out comments.”

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