THE SNP leader of North Lanarkshire Council is facing a knife-edge confidence vote after refusing to step down over alleged sexual misconduct.

Jordan Linden, who became the £45,000 boss of the authority two months ago, was urged to resign today by Labour opposition leader Jim Logue.

Sources said that in a face-to-face meeting at the council HQ in Motherwell, Councillor Logue "made it abundantly clear" to Cllr Linden that Labour considered him unfit to be the leader and a councillor. 

It is understood Cllr Logue also warned him that unless he resigned he was likely to face a confidence vote in a special council meeting next month.

The SNP have 36 of the council's 77 seats, Labour has 32, the Tories have five, there are two Independents, one Green and one British Unionist. 

If only a handful of Cllr Linden’s colleagues abstained or stayed away from the council meeting, he could easily be voted out of the leadership.

The Labour group in the council is now set to hold its own special meeting on Thursday to decide whether to ask the Provost to call a special council about Cllr Linden’s future.

As only a quarter of councillors are required to trigger a special council, Labour already has the numbers to do so, and the council would be held in around two weeks’ time.

A source close to the Labour leadership in North Lanarkshire said there was an “emerging consensus” over a confidence vote, and claimed some SNP councillors also regarded Cllr Linden’s position as increasingly unsustainable.

It follows the Sunday Mail reporting that Cllr Linden was accused of making unwanted sexual advances to a teenager while drunk at a party in Dundee in September 2019.

One activist reported the young man was left “traumatised” after he and the Bellshill councillor were in a room at the party, which followed a gay pride march in the city.

The newspaper said SNP HQ officials were aware of the alleged incident, even if there was no formal complaint made, and Cllr Linden was allowed to remain in the party.

Although he ditched his campaign to secure the SNP’s Westminster candidacy in Coatbridge just four days after the Dundee event, Cllr Linden went on to secure promotion in the SNP.

He became leader of the SNP opposition group in North Lanarkshire last year, and when the SNP overtook Labour in May’s local elections, he became council leader.

A close ally of SNP MSP Fulton MacGregor and former officer manager to ex-SNP MSP Richard Lyle, Cllr Linden is the cousin of Glasgow East SNP MP David Linden.

The SNP’s internal complaints process is already under scrutiny after former SNP MP Patrick Grady was found guilty of sexually harassing a male staffer while drunk in 2016.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford was accused of letting down the victim of the Glasgow North MP and allowing Mr Grady to be promoted to chief whip despite knowing of the allegation on an informal level.

The Sunday Mail said it approached Cllr Linden on Friday and put the allegations to him, and that he admitted he was "possibly" aware of them.

However he declined to speak any further and asked for questions to be put in an email but failed to respond.

The Herald has tried to contact Cllr Linden.

The SNP has criticised the Sunday Mail’s reporting and said it would submit a complaint to the Independent Press Standards Organisation (IPSO). 

However the pary has repeatedly refused to say what it knew about the allegation about Cllr Linden.

Motherwell North Councillor Andrew Duffy-Lawson, chair of the Motherwell & Wishaw Labour party, said: “Yet again we have another case of alleged predatory behaviour in SNP ranks and a failure to deal with them appropriately. 

“I encourage other Councillors to follow their morals on this issue.”

Liberal Democrat MSP Willie Rennie has said the SNP's reputation would be “further sullied” if it failed to address the controversy around Cllr Linden.

The SNP has been asked for comment about the Labour plan.