Glasgow & West Scotland

Police drop probe into council leader 'corruption' allegations

Councillor Jim Logue Image copyright North Lanarkshire Labour
Image caption Jim Logue leads a minority administration in North Lanarkshire

Police investigating allegations of corruption made against the leader of North Lanarkshire Council have found no evidence that any crime took place.

Jim Logue, who took the helm in March, described the allegations as "spurious".

The Labour councillor said he had been the target of a "smear" but vowed to continue to lead the authority.

"This whole episode has been a waste of time for the police and for the council," he added.

"In my view, the police should consider the extent to which their valuable time and resources have been wasted by the people behind this farce."

The police probe came after the council received an anonymous letter highlighting issues with procurement processes and contracts.

Mr Logue ordered an investigation into the claims in April last year and its results were reported to council managers in September 2016.

News of the Police Scotland's probe emerged last month.

In a statement issued by North Lanarkshire Council, Mr Logue welcomed the force's decision to conclude the investigation.

He said he had been a councillor for 40 years and in the 1980s he exposed "wrongdoing" by members of his own party in Monklands District Council.

'Extremely difficult time'

Mr Logue added: "Last year, I ensured there was a proper investigation into allegations of corruption in procurement based on anonymous but credible allegations, something other politicians would be extremely cautious about doing.

"Anyone who knows me and the way I go about my business knows that I would never be involved in fraud or corruption of any kind. I am very grateful for the support of my family and my colleagues during what has been an extremely difficult time.

"This whole episode has been a failed smear attempt. But the people who are complicit in that smear attempt should know this: I will never be diverted from my role in leading a forward-thinking council which achieves, and will continue to achieve, great things for the communities of North Lanarkshire.

"My focus is now on delivering the biggest council housebuilding programme in a generation in Scotland, on delivering record levels of economic growth, on building half a billion pounds worth of new schools. These are the things that matter to the people of North Lanarkshire."

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland confirmed that its investigation had concluded and it had found no evidence of criminality.

Last month Mr Logue survived a vote on a motion calling for him to step aside while the police investigation was under way.

Councillors also voted down a motion calling for the results of the internal investigation to be published.

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