Councillor Jordan Linden has resigned as leader of North Lanarkshire Council

Councillor Jordan Linden has stepped down as leader of North Lanarkshire Council days after claims were printed in a tabloid newspaper about his alleged conduct towards a young man at a party in Dundee in September 2019.

By Clare Grant
By Clare Grant

The Scottish Nationalist appeared on the front page of the ‘Sunday Mail’ after it was alleged that complaints against him had been hushed up to enable his political progress. The paper went on to feature two pages of unsparing extended coverage inside.

Now Mr Linden has broken his silence after a statement was issued, which is effectively a letter of resignation. The councillor said he did not wish to be a “distraction” and wanted to focus on his own mental wellbeing. He will however remain a councillor.

The statement said: “Although I have never approached any personal interaction with ill intent, I accept that my behaviour at that party in 2019 caused a sense of discomfort which I entirely regret. I offered my apologies to the person concerned at the time and the matter was closed. I reiterate that apology today. And in all that’s been said in recent days, the empathetic words from that individual have given me the most reassurance.

“The recent press coverage of this has placed an immense strain on me personally. My mental health and wellbeing is being seriously affected, and the impact it is having is profound.

"By resigning, I hope to be allowed the space to get my mental health back in balance. It has been the privilege of my life to serve in this role, and I remain proud that I was able to lead the Scottish National Party to administration in North Lanarkshire for the first time. I intend to continue to represent the people of Bellshill to the very best of my ability as a councillor. The privilege of representing my home town continues to be incredibly special to me.”

NLC’s Labour party leader Councillor Jim Logue told Councillor Linden he wasn’t fit to lead the council and threatened to hold a potentially damaging confidence vote. Crucially, 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 a small number of Councillor Linden’s colleagues abstained or did not attend, he could have been outvoted.