Crown Office in talks over Purcell

From the Evening Times

The Crown Office has ­confirmed it is in talks with police about launching a criminal investigation into former Glasgow City Council leader Steven Purcell after he admitted using cocaine.

It is understood the discussions follow an admission by Mr Purcell in a newspaper interview that he had used the drug several times while in office.

The former leader was visited by officers from the Scottish Crime and Drug Enforcement Agency at the city chambers, where he was warned drug-taking could leave him vulnerable to blackmail attempts.

A Crown Office spokeswoman said: “The procurator fiscal is liaising with Strath­clyde Police in relation to this matter, in light of recent alleged admissions to the press in relation to the use of Class A drugs.”

A spokesman for ­Strath­clyde Police said it was currently assessing information.

The decision was welcomed by Glasgow’s only Tory councillor, David Meikle, who had called for an investigation into allegations of wrongdoing.

He said: “Mr Purcell’s statement in the press raised more questions than it answered.

“I have raised several questions in relation to the Pur­cell statement, but answers have not been forthcoming.”

Former Lord Advocate Lord Fraser of Carmyllie said it was “astonishing” the police and the Crown Office had not investigated the circumstances surrounding Purcell’s resignation until now.

He said: “Just because you’re leader of the administration doesn’t mean you should get gentle treatment.”

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