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Glasgow council leader quits in shock drugs revelations

Steven Purcell, the leader of Scotland's largest city, quit his post before allegations of drugs use went public.

Steven Purcell, the leader of Scotland's largest city, quit his post before allegations of drugs use went public.

On 2 March 2010, a Scottish Labour Party spokesman announced Mr Purcell had resigned from his job as city council leader due to "stress and exhaustion".

His unexpected resignation shocked the Scottish political world. The youngest ever leader of the largest council in Scotland and one of the most respected Scottish politicians, Mr Purcell was widely considered to be the future leader of the Labour Party and a First Minister of Scotland in waiting.

The circumstances of Mr Purcell's unexpected resignation were soon questioned by the media as it emerged that the leader of Scotland's largest city had gone missing from a rehabilitation clinic less than 24 hours after the announcement.

In the following days it emerged that Mr Purcell had gone to Australia as stories about his alcohol and drugs problems started to appear in the press.

It also became known that the Glasgow council leader had been visited by officers of the Scottish Drug Enforcement Agency to warn him that gangsters could have a video of him snorting cocaine, which made him vulnerable to blackmail.

Following press allegations that individuals and organisations may have benefited from Glasgow city council, which has an annual budget in excess of £2 billion, the Scottish National Party called for an investigation into the activities of the council under Mr Purcell's leadership.

Steven Purcell has been replaced as leader of Glasgow city council by his former deputy, Councillor Jim Coleman.

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