THE leader of Glasgow City Council has sacked a key rival from a high-profile and lucrative post amid allegations of plots and disloyalty.

George Redmond, head of the transport quango that runs the Glasgow Subway, was told by his political boss Gordon Matheson that he was being removed from the £20,000-plus job after years of rancour between the pair.

Sources claim Mr Redmond, one of Glasgow Labour's highest profile councillors, was given the position at Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) last year in return for his loyalty to Mr Matheson.

Mr Matheson was re-elected as leader of Glasgow's Labour administration last month despite a turbulent year, including the fiasco over the aborted George Square redesign and after being caught by the police performing a sex act in a car.

He has accused east end councillor Mr Redmond of trying to gather support for a challenge against him or encouraging others to stand as leadership candidates.

But sources within the administration have said that while some within Labour will see the move as strong and decisive, it is also being described as smacking of "vindictiveness and revenge".

They also point to the installation of the recently elected James Adams as the administration's business manager, essentially the group whip, as being of arguably more significance to politics in the city.

Mr Adams is well known within the Scottish Labour machinery and is very close to the Sarwar dynasty, the key power brokers in Glasgow Labour.

One source went as far as saying appointing Mr Adams as whip was the first step in grooming him as a potential leadership candidate for 2016 and that the sacking of Mr Redmond was collateral damage.

Other moves in the reshuffle will see another former SPT head, Alastair Watson, move from whip to become the head of land and environmental services (LES).

The current head of LES, the veteran Jim Coleman, will take Mr Redmond's place on SPT, providing he is backed by elected members on the cross-council quango.

One source said: "George Redmond's been sacked for disloyalty. When he got the SPT job he was told it would require him to be supportive of the leader. Instead, he's been briefing against him, trying to undermine him. Even the dogs in the street knew he was wanting a challenge to Gordon."

Another source said: "It looks a bit desperate, a month after being re-elected unopposed. It might not actually do Redmond that much harm as it looks like vindictiveness and revenge on Gordon's part."

A spokesman for the adminstration said: "A year on from Labour's historic election victory this is the appropriate time for a minor reshuffle within the administration."

Mr Redmond was unavailable for comment.