Susan Aitken 'would step down' if SNP lose council election

The leader of Glasgow City Council said she would quit as the head of the party's delegation.

Glasgow City Council leader ‘would step down’ if SNP lose council election Getty Images

The leader of the SNP in Glasgow has said she will step down if the party loses May’s council election.

Susan Aitken took over as the leader of Glasgow City Council in 2017, heading up an SNP minority administration.

While a recent poll suggested 44% of those asked would vote for the SNP on May 5, Aitken told the Herald on Monday she would quit as the head of the party’s delegation if she was not the leader of the council following the election.

The party in Glasgow would need a “fresh start”, Aitken said.

“If the SNP were to lose the election and as a consequence of that I was no longer leader of the council, I would also stand down as leader of the SNP group,” she said.

“Because at that point clearly, the group would need the opportunity to have a fresh start and to rebuild, and I think new leadership would be important in that respect.

“I am confident that I have colleagues who more than have the capacity and ability to take on that role.”

The comment comes as Aitken did not rule out a formal coalition with Labour councillors – saying that would be more likely than an agreement with the Scottish Greens.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has repeatedly ruled out formal coalitions with other parties in favour working together on a vote-by-vote basis.

“Anas Sarwar has said Labour won’t do any deals with the SNP. I think that is very foolish I’ve got to say,” Aitken told the newspaper.

“There are some pretty well functioning SNP and Labour administrations, Edinburgh, East Renfrewshire, Stirling, Dumfries and Galloway, Fife. There’s quite a few of them.”

She added: “If our Labour colleagues were up for something constructive, mature conversations about how we move forward for the good of the city, then we would be happy to have those conversations with them too. Whether they are in that space or not, I’m not sure. It’s up to them.”

While the SNP group leader admitted it was “pretty unlikely” a deal could be struck between her party and Labour, she said she “wouldn’t rule anything out”.

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