PinkNews have had this story about a police investigation into possible corruption at the Glasgow LGBT centre since yesterday morning but they are not running it – why?
Police quiz Purcell ally over drugs allegations
15 Apr 2010
Police have questioned one of Steven Purcell’s closest allies over claims of corruption and drug abuse at Glasgow City Council.
Councillor Ruth Black, a personal friend of the disgraced former council leader, visited a police station to discuss allegations that she was unfairly given a £50,000 council contract because of her connection to Mr Purcell.
Ms Black, 45, was also asked if she had a role in the supply of drugs in Mr Purcell’s circle after the former leader admitted to having taken cocaine in the past.
In addition, she was asked about claims she herself had taken amphetamines. Ms Black denies any wrongdoing.
SNP councillors last week accused Mr Purcell of cronyism over his decision to award a lucrative contract to run a gay and lesbian drop-in centre to Ms Black, ahead of a rival bid from the well-established organisation Glasgay.
The Nationalists were acting on a tip-off which apparently included incriminating evidence about the council leader’s decision to give the contract to his Labour party colleague.
Ms Black had run a previous incarnation of the drop-in centre, but quit in December 2007. The centre went bust at the end of last year with outstanding debts of more than £300,000.
Ms Black was given the go-ahead to run the new centre, angering supporters of Glasgay, which has more than two decades’ experience of working in the city. Ms Black admitted that she went to London Road police station yesterday afternoon after officers contacted her on Tuesday.
Drug allegations against Mr Purcell, she told The Herald, were “the whole raison d’être” of the meeting.
“They asked if I was involved in taking them and passing them to other people as well,” Ms Black said. “Well, of course not.”
She was also questioned over the allegations relating to her bid for the contract to run the drop-in centre, but dismissed the claims as “absolute rubbish”, adding: “I totally deny them.”
The individuals who had tipped off the SNP, Ms Black claimed, were former staff members of the centre who held a grudge against her. She intends to take action against them, she said.
“It did become clear to [the police] as I explained the background that it was two ex-employees who had a massive axe to grind,” said Ms Black.
“That balanced things out, and it was clear it was a very malicious, nasty attempt to get revenge on me.” Ms Black described the on-the- record police interview as “possibly the most horrible experience I’ve ever had”.
She added that she was “devastated” to be caught up in the situation.
No charges have been brought, although Strathclyde Police indicated that they may need to speak to Ms Black again.
A police spokeswoman last night confirmed that the interview had taken place voluntarily.
Glasgow City Council said it would be “inappropriate” to comment.
Stonewall used to be a wonderful otganisation.
These days, Stonewall believe that same-sex couples be denied access to the legal contract of civil marriage based on our sexual orientation.
Stonewall need to either get with the equality agenda, or disband.
Isn’t it amazing that one dinner can raise almost three times as much as the entire week-long Manchester Pride? Something is very wrong…
@SimonM – maybe Stonewall has decided to prioritise some of the many causes that will benefit more than a couple of thousand people each year? I hope so.
Gay marriage is something a few activists have a bee in their bonnet about. They love it because it annoys the church and that causes headlines. And no doubt it ranks highly with the few hundred stereotypical pink pounders who always get surveyed down at the local gay pub or by Gay Times.
For the majority it would be nice to have but there are dozens of more important things. The more people and the media focus on gay marriage the less attention other issues get. So there is a cost to over-hyping this as the biggest issue we face today.
Two excellent role models for all gay people esp the young helping raise funds for an Excellent charity. We would be so much worse without the likes of Stonewall.
Keep up the Excellent work Stonewall!! :)
Yes, excellent role models they are. But just a little ignorant in being so quick to support charities like Stonewall without doing their own research. Like celebs who support HIV charities that do near enough sod all to prevent the spread of HIV, they see it as a fashionable cause, while most of the funds they help raise merely support the bloated pay checks of Chief Execs and fund the fleet of executive cars you always see lined up in their car parks.
Gareth Thomas!!! Phwoar, you can keep your Ricky Fartins’, give us a rugger bugger any day.
the problem about Stonewall is that it has cornered the market in gay representation: effectively it is the only body govt deals with.
They have done a lot of good work, and still do, but they are seen to speak for all of us; we are not a homogeneous community.
SimonM I agree with you, absolutely correct. Just why isn’t StonewallUK support civil marriage equality? Isn’t that part of the move towards full equality? Why is it so resistant and not respecting the views of those of us who want that choice? If it can’t accept that, then it should disband. We need a real equality movement with some teeth in it, not one that ignores an important, serious issue in the broader picture of what equality should be. Yes, they have done a lot of good on some issues, but they most certainly do NOT speak for everyone, far from it. Its arrogant and dismissive of them to even think it.
GS agree completely, the differences between civil partnerships and marriage are sematics legally and like most of my mates who have a CP we enjoy having something separate and distinct from heterosexual marriage with it’s BS vows and conformity. There are lots of distinct GLBT groups focused on different issues so go support them rather then whining on about Stonewall and the terrific work it does on behalf of 30k folk who think the way I do.
Stonewall have done great things but what is the phenomenal amount of money they now get spent on? Just a thought…
I am gay and I do not want equality, I a happy with how things are, they gays are getting it too easy. Stonewall needs to be disolved, and its people to get real jobs.
You are gay and do not want equality? If you are gay, why say “they gays”? Noone is “getting it too easy”; read a few headlines where our recent “equalities” are being challenged by the church, where LGBT people are being beaten and killed for no reason other than their sexuality. Can you read? If so, then do so before being so inane!
marriage is also important and Stonewall should fight for that too, that Stonewall isn’t shows it’s out of touch with the people it’s claiming to represent
Being that you’ve just ‘outed’ yourself to prove some homophobic bigotted point (which escapes me), I would be interested in knowing you think ‘they gays’ should be happy with?!
C’mon show up how intelligent a hetero/homo/undecided you are by telling us what it is we have we should be ‘happy’ with.
The point is ONLY real men completely happy with their musculinity are happy to accept all those around them We tend to leave the ones who have to question it to the boys.
I attended the dinner and it was a great night. Gareth’s speech was amazing, very heartfelt and emotional, I went up to his father afterwards and said he should be very proud of his son, and Gareth should be very proud that his father would atttend such an event. He was talking about being “macho” and gay and his struggle to come to terms with playing such a tough sport and coming out, saying he was terrified that coming out would cost him his career. It was very endearing.
He made a great comment along the lines of gay lads “going back into the closet – to get their rugby boots out and start playing”, hilarious.
I must say his speech overshadowed Martina’s a little, but she made an excellent point that she had never had to be picked for anything, being in an individual sport, so never had the risk of being dropped or shunned by team mates. Great stuff and she looked beautiful, sportsmen seem to glow in a weird way they look so healthy.
I agree that Stonewall seems to want to be permanently angry and hectoring at times. I wonder what it would take to make them state “everything is cool”. Unfortunatley a pressure group has nothing to press if it gets all its wishes
Three gay men have been murdered in the last two months Julian. Isn’t that something for us all to get angry about?
Three gay men have been murdered in the last two years Julian. Isn’t that something for us all to get very angry about?
And how many straight men have been murdered in that time? But straights don’t count do they? You either want equality or you don’t – or is it some pigs are more equal than others?
No straight person has been murdered just because they were born straight.
How is Stonewall spending the £366,000 they raised?
Seeing as they are opposed to legal equality for same sex couples and represent a tiny percentage of the LGB (but not T) organisation, that seems like a lot of money to be lining Stonewall’s pockets.
Stonewall are a group of homophobes – after all they are opposed to the right of same sex couples to access the legal contract of civil marriage, purely because we are gay.
It is quite sinister that a homophobic organisation like Stonewall be given such a large sum of money by well-meaning people, even though Stonewall does not think we deserve legal equality.
Stonewall are a homophobic disgrace.
They need to disband.