THE millionaire brother of former Labour MP Mohammed Sarwar and uncle of the party's Scottish deputy leader, Anas Sarwar, has switched his allegiance to the SNP, The Herald can reveal.

Businessman Mohammad Ramzan has come out in favour of Alex Salmond's party ahead of next week's council elections, blaming the Labour administration in Glasgow for a "lack of ideas and innovation".

The tycoon, who is chairman of United Wholesale Grocers, said he had supported Labour in the past out of family loyalty and donated £2000 to his brother's Labour General Election campaign in Glasgow Govan in 2001.

However, yesterday he revealed he had withdrawn his support for Labour – just as leader Ed Miliband is due to hit the campaign trail in Glasgow today.

Mr Miliband is also expected to attend a Muslim Friends of Labour function hosted by Anas Sarwar tonight.

Mr Ramzan said: "I am delighted to be supporting the SNP at this year's local elections on May 3. I have been a businessman in Glasgow for over 35 years and I have always wanted what is best for the city.

"Unfortunately, under the current Labour administration the city has not moved forward, there is a lack of ideas and innovation, and they now spend more time squabbling among themselves than trying to help ordinary Glaswegians.

"That is why I will be supporting real change under the SNP."

Mr Ramzan said that, aside from his donation to his brother's campaign, he had made small donations to Labour in the past, mainly to local council candidates "at the last few elections".

However, he stressed last night that he was not setting out to embarrass his brother or his nephew, who he said were aware of his growing inclination to support the SNP.

He said: "Through their small business bonus scheme, council tax freeze, abolition of university tuition fees and protection of vital services like the NHS, the SNP have shown real credibility in government.

"They will undoubtedly bring the same competence that they have shown in government to the local council, and I look forward to helping them make Glasgow flourish."

SNP deputy leader Nicola Sturgeon said last night: "This is another sign of the growing support for the SNP in Glasgow and shows that the wind of change is blowing through the city."

Glasgow SNP group leader Allison Hunter said: "I am delighted that Mr Ramzan is to support the SNP at the election next week. For a prominent businessman to endorse us in this way is hugely significant.

"As Mr Ramzan says, Glasgow has not moved forward under Labour. Glasgow needs a can-do council which will work closely with neighbouring councils and the Scottish Government to build for economic recovery – this is precisely what the SNP are offering next Thursday."

The man behind the country's biggest cash-and-carry arrived in Scotland in 1974,

starting out in business with £5 in his pocket.

Soon Mr Ramzan was selling clothes door-to-door around Glasgow and as far afield as Dunoon, travelling by bus and ferry.

By 1977 he was in the wholesale trade, and within a decade United Wholesale had achieved a multi-million-pound turnover.

But, while his brother Mohammad increasingly devoted his time to front-line politics, he concentrated on building the family business.

Mr Ramzan is now chairman of United Wholesale, while his son Nabeel Ramzam is managing director. Mr Sarwar was a Glasgow MP from 1997 to 2010, while his son, Anas Sarwar, is MP for Glasgow Central and deputy leader of the Scottish Labour Party.