A GLASGOW councillor and gym owner has quit the Tory party due to frustrations over a lack of support for the fitness industry.

Tony Curtis, who has represented Partick East and Kelvindale since 2017, asked senior Tories to push the Scottish Government on when gyms can reopen following lockdown.

The councillor, who owns Ominfunctional Fitness in the city, has been disappointed by the response.

“There has been no leadership in an area I wanted represented in,” he said. “Why would I represent a party that wouldn’t represent me?”

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The councillor said the lack of support was a “deal breaker” for him after five years in the party.

He struggles to understand why pubs and restaurants have been allowed to open while gyms remain shut.

“The assumption is alcohol is taking precedent over exercise, which I think is ridiculous.”

The Scottish Government has advised indoor gyms “must remain closed as they involve prolonged close social contact, which increases the chance of infection spreading”.

Glasgow Times:

But Mr Curtis, who had been hopeful of reopening on July 31, said he has worked “tirelessly” and spent “thousands of pounds” to prepare his gym for use.

Gyms in England were able to reopen on Saturday but, in Scotland, there is “no definitive timeline”, he said.

Mr Curtis added the chances of him running for office again in 2022 were “quite slim” now.

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When asked if Tory voters in his ward might feel he had acted in his own interests rather than theirs, he said: “I’m going to continue to carry out my duties between now and then as I always have done.”

He added part of his role was to stand up for people and businesses, not only in his ward but across Scotland.

“I’m stepping down as a Conservative, I’ll remain conservative with a small ‘c’.”

He now wants to shine a light on the issue and is urging gym-goers to use #letussweat on social media.

Glasgow Tories leader Thomas Kerr wished Mr Curtis “all the best for the future”.

Glasgow Times:

“The decision on whether or not to reopen gyms sits solely with Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP,” he said.

“As Cllr Curtis knows, where the Conservatives are in power, a great deal has happened to progress the health and fitness agenda across the rest of the UK.

“As a group, we will continue to hold the SNP-run council to account, while Jackson Carlaw and his team will do the same with the SNP at national level.”

A spokeswoman for the Scottish Government has thanked gym owners for their patience and said the Government does not “want these restrictions to be in place a minute longer than we judge to be necessary”.