Glasgow's council leader has been accused of a 'failure of leadership' after denying the city's are "filthy" and saying they merely needed a "spruce up."  

Susan Aitken said that there were patches of the city which were "problematic", but insisted this would be handled before Glasgow welcomes world leaders for the COP 26 conference in November.

There has been sustained criticism of the waste, litter and graffiti problem in Glasgow, with the GMB union recently launching a 'rat register' to keep track of sightings of the vermin in Glasgow

Challenged about the state of the city's streets during an interview with STV, Clr Aitken said: "I don't believe the streets are filthy. I think there are patches that are problematic. I think there are patches that need targeted.

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"But by-and-large, as I'm walking about — as I do all the time — the problems I see are to do with commercial waste, much of which is not the responsibility of the council.

"But we do need to invest in enforcement to target that. We've had people catching up on the grafitti issue since earlier in the year."

She added: "What I would say is that we've got some work to do to get Glasgow looking back to its best.

"I've lived here 30 years and I think there have always been challenges in Glasgow."

Asked directly what adjective she would use to describe the streets if she would not use the word "filthy", she said: "I think Glasgow needs a spruce up as we emerge from Covid."

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Her comments were criticised online with some Glasgow residents saying they fell short of the mark. 

City MSP Paul Sweeney said her words amounted to a "brazen denial of reality".

He Tweeted: "A key test of leadership is having the courage to accept the reality of a difficult situation and take responsibility, even when it's inconvenient.

"Brazen denials of reality don't just embarrass Susan Aitken, but it exposes a big failure of leadership that harms every Glaswegian."