Glasgow City Council leader Frank McAveety has handed a key role in his administration to former Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) communications director Bob Wylie.

He was in charge of the transport quango’s public relations during an expenses scandal in 2010.

Wylie left the post during a subsequent restructuring which also saw SPT’s three most senior staff - chairman, vice chair and chief executive – leave their roles.

It emerged in 2010 that officials had run up more than £100,000 in expenses and gone on foreign fact-finding trips.

After leaving SPT, Wylie worked for social enterprise The Wise Group before setting up his own PR firm, Communication Strategies Ltd.

The former BBC journalist still has an office at The Wise Group’s premises in Glasgow’s east end and lists the social enterprise’s phone number as the contact on his company’s website.

Speaking this morning, Wylie confirmed that he has been taken on as a “special advisor” to McAveety.

He added: “It’s signed, sealed and delivered – I’m just about to walk into the leader’s office now.”

McAveety won a vote to succeed Gordon Matheson as head of Glasgow City Council by 24 votes to 19 during a meeting of Labour colleagues in September.

He was previously leader of the council from 1997 to 1999, when he was elected as an MSP for Glasgow Shettleston. He lost the seat to the SNP in 2011 and was again elected a city councillor in 2012.

An SNP source said: “I can't imagine what Wylie offers McAveety other than controversy and links to past scandals.”

A source close to McAveety said: “Everyone has a past. Bob is an operator and I’m sure he’d do a good job.”