THE Labour leader on Glasgow City Council has narrowly avoided being ousted after just a year in the job, underlining the division within his party.

George Redmond survived a challenge from former Lord Provost Philip Braat this morning.

Mr Redmond became leader of the opposition on the SNP-run council last May by defeating incumbent Malcolm Cunning by 24 votes to 11.

However Mr Redmond came within three votes of losing to Mr Braat today, winning by just 20 to 15.

The result was an upset for Mr Redmond's backers, who predicted he would win “comfortably” and that Mr Braat’s support would be in single figures.

Mr Redmond’s business manager, former Scottish Government minister Frank McAveety, also survived a challenge at the groups’s AGM.

Mr McAveety defeated Stephen Curran by 19 votes to 15.

The result could draw support to Mr Braat and make another challenge likely at next year's AGM, or he could act as a stalking horse and embolden someone else in the Labour group to take on Mr Redmond.

A Labour source said the group would more forward united and focus on challenging the SNP's record in the city and improving people's lives.

Meanwhile, it is understood the Labour leader of North Lanarkshire Council Jim Logue has survived a challenge from Heather Brannan-McVey, winning by 19 votes to 11.

His long-serving deputy, Paul Kelly, has been replaced by Louise Roarty.

Glasgow is run by a minority SNP administration which has 37 of the 85 seats, supported by 10 Greens. Labour has 36 seats.

The challenge to Mr Redmond followed a row in February over his decision not to offer an alternative budget, arguing Labour should not be helping the SNP cope with cuts imposed by Holyrood.

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Scottish Labour Anas Sarwar backed Mr Redmond’s decision at the time, but conspicuously failed to endorse him last week, saying it was entirely a matter for the council Labour group.

A source close to events said: "The deep divisions with Labour are starker than ever.

“That George, as the Labour establishment candidate, came within a few votes of being ousted tells you that he's not secure within his group.

“I would not be surprised if he’s now considering whether he can be bothered going on, and whether somebody othen than Phil might emerge to replace him.

“Despite coming a vote from being the biggest party at last year’s elections, there are now two parties within Glasgow City Council Labour group.”