Glasgow & West Scotland

Councillor William O'Rourke sacked over rape remarks

Councillor William O'Rourke
Image caption Councillor William O'Rourke has been sacked from several positions

A Glasgow councillor has been sacked from several council positions over inappropriate comments about a nine-year-old girl who said she was raped.

Councillor William O'Rourke is said to have asked if the child "wanted it to happen" during a disciplinary panel into the sacking of a care worker.

He has now been sacked from Strathclyde Police Authority, the personnel appeals committee and two other boards.

Councillor O'Rourke, 72, has also been suspended from the Labour Party.

It is understood his comments were made during a recent personnel appeals committee, which he was chairing.

A former care assistant was appealing against dismissal after being accused of raping the child.

The former employee was never charged and continues to deny the allegations.

A female police officer, who investigated the case, gave evidence before the personnel appeals committee last month.

She is believed to have made a complaint against Councillor O'Rourke over comments he made about the case.

It is understood that Councillor O'Rourke asked if force was used during the alleged rape and when she told him it was not, he is alleged to have asked: "So she wanted it to happen?"

Councillor O'Rourke is then alleged to have made other comments about the girl which prompted the complaint.

Council leader Gordon Matheson said: "Councillor O'Rourke's behaviour falls way short of the standard I and the public expect of Glasgow councillors.

"Councillor O'Rourke's comments to the personnel appeals committee were disgraceful. We are elected by the public to protect the vulnerable people of our city.

'Corporate parents'

"Councillor O'Rourke not only failed in his duty to do this but he also made highly offensive and inappropriate statements about a vulnerable young person.

"Councillors are by law the corporate parents of those in our care. It is the single most important responsibility we hold and I will ensure that every member of this council lives up to that responsibility."

Councillor O'Rourke has been removed from Strathclyde Police Authority, the personnel appeals committee and the boards of council-owned companies City Parking and Glasgow City Markets.

He has also been suspended by the Labour Party pending Standards Commission and party investigations.

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