Glasgow City Council’s depute leader has condemned “sectarian slurs” he faced from online trolls after being cleared of ‘footballing bias’ over accusations made against him regarding Rangers FC’s plans to create a fan zone outside Ibrox.

David McDonald and council leader Susan Aitken were exonerated by the Standards Commissioner of intervening in a decision to refuse the club permission to create a fan entertainment area on Glasgow Life pitches near their home stadium.

SNP Cllr McDonald, who is also the chairman of the Glasgow Life arms length leisure group, said he faced “vitriolic” abuse on social media regarding his own footballing allegiances.

READ MORE: Councillor gets threats after anti-Rangers ‘bias’ claims

The row was exacerbated when Tory MSP Adam Tomkins appeared to imply that some sort of bias may have been at play in the decision.

In a widely reported letter to the council’s leadership, Mr Tomkins said: “I would strongly urge you to engage with your SNP colleagues on Glasgow City Council to ensure that due process has been followed in this instance and that the outcome was neither partisan nor one-sided.”

Mr McDonald previously told how one social media user had threatened to drag him on to the street, gut him and sweep him into the gutter he belongs in”.

In a statement, cllr McDonald said: “After a full and thorough investigation, the Ethical Standards Commissioner has confirmed that there was no basis or truth to the false allegations made against me in relation to decisions made about the Ibrox Fan Zone in 2018.

“These fabricated claims which were recklessly echoed by other Glasgow politicians, led to sustained, vitriolic abuse that culminated in threats.

“Social media can be a dangerous place and words have consequences. Consequences that limited my life and my ability to carry out my duties for a period of time.”

He also said it had been a stressful time for his family, friends and party colleagues.

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Mr McDonald continued: “My family, made up of both Celtic and Rangers supporters, helped me to get over the mindless sectarian slurs aimed at me on a nearly daily basis and they too also had to live with abuse.

“They stood with me during the worst of the onslaught and I cannot thank them enough for their support.

“Glasgow is a football city, it’s in our DNA. So I’m now looking forward to leaving it all in the past and getting on with doing the job I love.”