Quick rise in party politics for Langside councillor

editorial image

LANGSIDE councillor Susan Aitken is the new leader of the opposition at Glasgow city council.

The SNP group elected Susan Aitken, who previously held the role of lead on social work within the group, on Tuesday, when she defeated westend councillor Kenny McLean for the post.

She told The Extra: “I am hugely honoured to have been chosen by my colleagues as the new leader of the opposition.

“I am focused on working collectively with my fellow SNP councillors — and those of other parties — to achieve the very best for the people of Glasgow.

“I know there is a great deal to do over the coming months and years. Labour’s leadership in Glasgow is tired. Scratch the surface and there is very little vision for our great city.

“I will be arguing strongly that only the powers of independence will provide the opportunities to improve the lives of Glaswegians and the economy of our city.”

The southsider, who lives in Queen’s Park, has replaced Graeme Hendry, who stepped down from the position last week citing family reasons for his decision.

She commented: “I want to thank my predecessor, councillor Graeme Hendry, who has left a solid foundation upon which to build towards the referendum in September and on towards 2017.

“I wish him well in the future, and look forward to working with him and all my colleagues as we move forwards towards September’s Yes vote.”

Councillor Hendry commented: “Susan will make a formidable leader for the SNP in Glasgow.

“With her years of experience behind her and a vibrant and talented group of councillors to lead, I am sure that she will be a great asset to Glasgow and the SNP in this role.”

An SNP member and activist since 2000, she has held local offices, including Cathcart SNP branch convener.

She was also election agent for Cathcart constituency in 2007 and 2011 Holyrood elections.

The 42-year-old was elected as SNP councillor for Langside ward in 2012.

Billy McAllister remains deputy leader despite controversy after being fined £200 for shouting and swearing at an anti-bedroom tax meeting.