Swedish-born Eva Bolander’s election as Lord Provost a message Glasgow is ‘open to the world’

SNP installed for first time ever as Glasgow Council administration

GLASGOW now formally has an SNP administration after the election of the SNP leadership in the city to senior council positions.

The elections installed Susan Aitken as the new council leader with David McDonald as Deputy. The SNP also announced ten councillors to lead in key convener roles within the council. 

The SNP’s Eva Bolander was also installed as Lord Provost.

Labour administrations had held a continuous majority in Glasgow Council for 37 years, and dominated the council over eight decades. However, the SNP became the largest party in Glasgow for the first time in this month’s council elections. No party has an overall majority.

Bolander said she was “thrilled by the honour” of becoming Provost, and pointed out she was the “first EU national”, having been born in Sweden, to hold the role. She pledged to make Glasgow a city “open to all people from around the world”, in what is an ambassadorial and ceremonial role.

Illustrating the strength of feeling in the city for more radical political change, the first full council meeting faced protests outside - demanding greater action to eradicate homelessness.  

Read more - Activists besiege city councils demanding housing reforms and an end to homelessness

Inside the chamber, two issues were already the cause of dispute. Opposition parties elected Labour’s Philip Braat as Deputy Lord Provost ahead of SNP nominee Norman MacLeod.

The formation of the Council Executive Committee - which scrutinises the work of the administration - was also contested. The SNP group proposed a body of 19 members, with 10 SNP members, 7 Labour members, and one Green and one Tory member. This would have given the SNP a majority on the committee.

Scottish Green and Labour groups proposed an alternative committee with a total membership of 23, made up with 11 SNP, 8 Labour, 2 Green, and 2 Tory members. Labour said this would be a more “proportionate” split - relating to the results of the election.

The opposition party proposal was passed by 44 votes to 39.

Picture courtesy of Graeme Bird 

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