The leader of Glasgow City Council has offered an apology for a remark and picture she shared about a rival politician in a private SNP Facebook group.

Susan Aitken also branded the leak of the private group post as a “betrayal of trust”.

Ms Aitken was reported by Labour group leader Frank McAveety to the Standards Commissioner for posting a picture last year amid a controversy about the council refusing a fanzone at Ibrox.

The picture was of Mr McAveety attending a Rangers match in 2015 in the directors’ box.

Ms Aitken commented: “Oh and if anyone fancies getting these nice photos of Frank McAveety enjoying hospitality in the Rangers directors’ box out there.”

Evening Times:

The post in a SNP group closed Facebook page was leaked last month.

The council leader was accused by Labour of attempting to stir up a sectarian divide the city is trying to move away from.

Mr McAveety said at a meeting of Glasgow City Council today that he was disappointed in the remark as the leader represents a local authority where football affiliation represents a “challenge”.

At a meeting of Glasgow City Council, Ms Aitken repeated the post was “just a joke” and not related to sectarianism.

She said: “It was a joke. It was nothing to do with sectarianism or football.”

She said it was made in private and was not shared by anyone at the time.

She said the SNP, like other parties, had been the “victim of a leak”, adding that political groups are entitled to have private discussions.

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She said: "If I had wanted to do as Frank McAveety suggests, then I could have tweeted it. I chose not to. I had no interest in continuing the unpleasant narrative.”

She added: “It had nothing to do with sectarianism.

She said the leaker had “betrayed the trust of the SNP Group” by putting it in the public domain.

She added: “If Councillor McAveety is genuinely offended, then I apologise.”

However, she said she shouldn’t have to apologise as “there was never any sectarian motive.”