An SNP councillor has resigned from the party at Glasgow City Council citing concerns over the leadership.

Russell Robertson, who defected to the SNP from Labour in 2016 and was elected as SNP councillor for East Centre ward, will now sit as an independent candidate.  

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He sent a resignation letter to Susan Aitken, leader of the council.

In a letter seen by the Evening Times, he stated that he resigns with “a heavy heart” but feels he can best serve as an independent.

Mr Robertson stated: “I can no longer serve under you as I feel you no longer have the leadership skill, qualities and above all the consensus building skills required to lead this great city.”

The resignation is the second in two weeks after Linn councillor, Glenn Elder resigned, citing “bullying and harassment” from within the SNP group at Glasgow Council. 

The SNP group, however, believe his motivations are financial.

The resignation takes the minority SNP group's number to 37 councillors, still six ahead of Labour with 31.

Mr Robertson had criminal charges dropped against him in February of “acting in a threatening and abusive manner” towards a neighbour at his home.

His partner David O’Hara admitted charges against him.

When charged, Mr Robertson was asked to resign the SNP whip and when cleared he was able to be readmitted and was given back his Baillie title.

However, he lost his post in the administration, which came with financial remuneration, which no longer existed when he returned.

An SNP source said: "The SNP and the leader stood by him when he and his partner were charged last year and through his recent legal issues. So it's deeply disappointing that he was unable to reciprocate that loyalty shown to him."

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An SNP group spokesperson said: "It was right that Russell was asked to stand down from his paid position when he was charged last year. It seems he had an expectation that he would be reinstated to that same paid position.

"No-one elected as a representative of their community is owed a living beyond their core pay.

"It is very sad indeed that he has chosen to resign because of loss of privilege."

Thomas Kerr, Tory group deputy leader, said “This is yet another blow to Susan Aitken and the SNP in Glasgow. To lose one Councillor could be regarded as a misfortune, to lose two Councillors looks like carelessness and it is clear that this minority administration is in turmoil over this.”