EQUAL pay campaigner Mark Irvine is demanding answers from council bosses over a £120,000 payment made after the early retiral of a senior official.

Glasgow City Council's well respected finance director Lynn Brown was granted early retiral in 2016 after 13 years in post.

In order to allow her to go, the council paid a lump sum of £120,079 to Strathclyde Pension Fund, which would have been approved by chief executive Annmarie O'Donnell.

But, following a request made under Freedom of Information (FOI) legislation, the council has failed to provide the paper trail for sanctioning the payment.

Mr Irvine is the solicitor behind the Action 4 Equality Scotland campaign to secure equal pay compensation for thousands of low paid female workers.

He said: "Glasgow's chief executive, Annemarie O'Donnell, is the highest paid local government official in Scotland, but this latest debacle makes the city look completely ridiculous - small businesses and local corner shops in Glasgow operate to higher standards.

"The generosity shown towards a senior council colleague is quite extraordinary and impossible to justify.

"Low paid workers in other parts of the council don't enjoy this kind of treatment and it's a terrible insult to those who have been fighting for their rights to equal pay for the past 12 years."

While Glasgow's council has acknowledged its poor handling of the FOI request, bosses said the payment is a standard "strain on the fund" cost that the council is obliged to pay to Strathclyde Pension Fund to cover any potential costs occurred by allowing an early retirement.

But Mr Irvine said records should be held detailing why Ms O'Donnell allowed the move, which has cost the public purse a significant sum of money.

He added: "To add insult to injury those responsible now claim that Scotland's largest council has no proper records to explain the process by which this decision was made, which is a hugely damaging admission.

"Because if the outgoing finance director had a right to request early retirement, having reached the age of 55, the big question for the council to answer is why an extra £120,079 of public money was needed to 'sweeten the deal'."

"The council has a binding procedural rule for keeping vital records which seems to have been ignored on this occasion, so perhaps the director of governance ought to follow the chief executive out the door."

The council wrote to Mr Irvine on June 22 to say officials would look again at his request and respond within a week but so far he has heard no more.

The lawyer has now registered complaints with the Scottish Information Commissioner and Audit Scotland.

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “We are aware that Mr Irvine is unsatisfied with the response he received and we have already undertaken to take a fresh look at his request.

“When an employee is able to retire earlier than the pension fund may have calculated, it creates what is known as a strain on the fund - and this cost is commonly met by their employer.

"This was publicly reported in the council’s 16/17 accounts, which have been independently audited.”