WHEN news emerged late last week that another SNP councillor had resigned from the party in protest against the leader of the council, Susan Aitken, I can’t say I was surprised.

In her own words, Councillor Elspeth Kerr described SNP-run Glasgow City Council as a “dictatorship” and said that she “cannot stand by a party that allows bullying and corruption of this nature”. While Elspeth and I may have our political disagreements, I have always known her to be an honest and hardworking local representative. Her words have been echoed to me countless times over the past three years in private by SNP councillors who are too scared to speak up against the leadership of Susan Aitken (right).

When the SNP came to power in Glasgow City Council in May 2017, they promised to shine a light on the murky corridors of power in the city chambers after decades of Labour mismanagement of our city. In the run up to the last local elections, Susan Aitken promised to end Labour’s paternalistic approach, eliminate backroom deal-making and usher in a new era of open and transparent government. How disappointed Glasgow has turned out to be that, instead of rooting out corruption and bad practice, the SNP have further engrained it in the fabric of our local politics.

On social media, Elspeth has described the SNP in Glasgow as having been “taken over” by careerist politicians “who are in it for their own benefits and not for the people we are elected to represent!And the party won’t intervene for fear of bad publicity”.

Her description of Susan Aitken is especially harrowing as, on top of allegations by councillors who resigned from her group last year, Elspeth states: “I am not bullied easily but Susan has tried at every opportunity. Every time I tried to express my opinion I was silenced.”

Unfortunately, this experience aligns with everything we already suspected about the SNP in Glasgow. In only three years, Susan Aitken’s administration has brought the reputation of this city into disrepute – from the Ibrox fanzone scandal to her Lord Provost resigning over expenses and the setting up of a private social media page which spread politically motivated smears about her fellow councillors. The truth is that despite being elected with a promise to deliver open and transparent government, Susan Aitken’s administration has failed to even attempt to reach out across party lines in the interests of the people of Glasgow. Her leadership resents scrutiny of its record and actively avoids being held accountable for the decisions it makes.

In March this year, Susan Aitken survived a vote of confidence in her leadership by a margin of 19-17. By any measure this alone is a damning indictment of her failures as a council leader. Now, with yet another councillor forced to leave her group, the question for the city of Glasgow is clear – if her own members have lost faith, then how can the public trust in her leadership at this critical juncture?