Glasgow's council leader Susan Aitken has been accused of "sheer hypocrisy" after saying she would refuse to allow floating accommodation for asylum seekers in the city.

Ms Aitken tweeted that the UK government had asked the SNP Glasgow City Council to consent to "an asylum barge being sited in the city" and added: "We will not give it."

However, to overcome accommodation shortages, the Scottish Government used two ships to house Ukrainian refugees - including one based in Glasgow to no opposition from the council.

The MS Ambition cruise ship was berthed on the River Clyde for around a year, providing home to hundreds of refugees before sailing in April this year.

READ MORE: Exclusive interview with ship charter company boss on board the Bibby Stockholm

Scottish Conservative MSP for Glasgow Annie Wells said: “The sheer hypocrisy and double standards of Susan Aitken are breath-taking."

Ms Aitken was contacted for comment but did not respond to questions from The Herald.

Ms Wells added: “We never heard a peep from her about the SNP government housing Ukrainian refugees on ferries, but when the UK government proposes a similar plan, she denounces it and says Glasgow City Council will not grant consent.

“The vessel is even being organised by the same people and coming from the same charter company.

"Susan Aitken, typically for an SNP politician, is just ludicrously claiming that something’s always great when her party does it, but terrible when the UK government does.”

On Twitter on Monday, Councillor Aitken, said: “The UK government wants @GlasgowCC to give consent to an asylum barge being sited in the city. We will not give it.

"Glasgow’s communities are proud to be beacons of support and integration for asylum seekers & refugees. This is the polar opposite of that.”

Her comments came as yesterday the first asylum seeking people moved from hotel accommodation to the controversial Bibby Stockholm barge in Portland Port, Dorset, following several delays.

The barge is set up to house around 500 people with intense criticism of the plans from politicians, third sector organisations and the Fire Brigades Union, which all express concerns about the barge being dangerous or becoming a "floating prison".

In a separate statement, a spokesperson for Glasgow City Council said: "The council was made aware that agents working on behalf of the Home Office were exploring a potential site for a barge within Glasgow.

"The council has made it clear to the Home Office that it does not support such a move."

Labour MSP Paul Sweeney said he had been on board the MS Ambition while it was berthed at King George V Dock at Braehead during a visit with Minister Neil Gray.

He described seeing children in cabins with no windows and described the accommodation as "far from ideal".

Mr Sweeney said: "The root cause of the asylum accommodation crisis in the UK is Tory cuts and their hostile environment agenda has resulted in an unprecedented backlog in cases.

"Current legislation also prevents asylum seekers from seeking work and supporting themselves financially whilst their applications are being processed, meaning that accommodation must be provided by Home Office contractors.

READ MORE: Love, loss and sanctuary on board Glasgow's Ukrainian refugee ship

“This broken system that causes vast poverty and human misery needs to change, but it will be challenging to do that overnight, given the obvious logistic constraints and lead times to construct more housing units."

Concerns had been raised by refugee charities about housing Ukrainians on the MS Ambition in Glasgow, a cruise ship, and the MS Victoria in Leith, a cruise ferry.

Residents, however, praised the conditions and living quarters on board, but these vary significantly from those provided by the Bibby Stockholm.

The barge has been used to house staff working on offshore windfarms at Orkney and has been used by the German government to house refugees.

In an exclusive interview with The Herald, Joyce Landry, the CEO of the charter company that provided all three ships to the UK and Scottish governments, had described the accommodation on the Bibby Stockholm as "quite lovely".

Mr Sweeney added: “The vessel docked in the King George V Dock ... was accepted as a necessary short-term measure until more permanent accommodation could be found.

“With alternatives including B&B hotels and flats barely fit for habitation, unfortunately there are no easy short-term solutions to this Tory-caused asylum backlog, but we should act urgently across government to expand permanent housing supply in Glasgow, including the purchase of long-term empty homes and conversion of city-centre office space, so we can provide dignified accommodation to everyone while reversing our declining population.”

One insider suggested the UK government was inspired to look at floating accommodation following its successful use by the Scottish Government.

Human rights campaigners Amnesty International UK criticised the use of the Bibby Stockholm while refugee charity Care4Calais said they had managed to prevent 20 asylum seekers from being transferred to the Bibby Stockholm.

But in Scotland the Scottish Refugee Council praised the work done on board the MS Ambition in Glasgow, particularly the coordination of various agencies such as the DWP, the Scottish Government matching team, education services from Glasgow City Council and third sector organisations.

Protests have been held at the Dorset port over the past two weeks, with anti-racism groups opposing the plans to hold asylum seekers on board and local community activists saying the ship and its residents are not welcome.

READ MORE: Glasgow criticised for 'endemic racism' pushing BAME families into poverty

According to a freedom of information request to NHS Dorset, a draft "outbreak management plan" for the barge highlights a number of infectious diseases and illnesses that may arise on Bibby Stockholm including diphtheria, TB, legionnaires’ disease, norovirus, salmonella and scabies.

High hotel bill costs are cited as the reason for the use of the barge, as well as a wider bid to create a hostile immigration environment in the UK to discourage small boat crossings on the English Channel.

The Home Office says that only adult male migrants who are towards the end of their asylum application process will be housed on the Bibby Stockholm, with none likely to be on the barge for more than nine months.

Ukrainian refugees in Scotland were on board the two floating accommodation cruise ships for up to a year before being rehoused.