Glasgow & West Scotland

Steven Purcell quizzed over cocaine claims

Steven Purcell
Image caption Steven Purcell claimed to have taken cocaine while council leader

The former leader of Glasgow City Council has been questioned by police over his admission that he had used illegal drugs.

Strathclyde Police said Steven Purcell, 37, attended an interview "voluntarily" at a police station in the city.

The interview was to assist with an "ongoing criminal inquiry", the force said.

Mr Purcell told the Scottish Sun newspaper in April that he had taken cocaine.

A police spokesman said: "Strathclyde Police can confirm that Steven Purcell attended voluntarily at a police office in Glasgow on Wednesday June 2 to assist with an ongoing criminal inquiry."

Mr Purcell, who was once seen as a rising star within the Labour party, stepped down as council leader and councillor for Glasgow's Blairdardie ward in March citing "stress and exhaustion".

It later emerged that he was treated at a private hospital specialising in drug and alcohol dependency.

Step down

Mr Purcell told the Scottish Sun earlier this year he had taken cocaine a "handful" of times since he was first offered it at a party.

He blamed "stupidity" for his decision to dabble with the drug, and also admitted he had problems with alcohol before he decided to step down.

Mr Purcell was first elected to the council in May 1995 and served as convener of development and regeneration, then education, before becoming leader in 2005 at the age of only 32.

He was named as Councillor of the Year at last year's Scottish Politician of the Year awards for his role in delivering the Commonwealth Games to Glasgow and a guaranteed "living wage" to thousands of workers.

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