Steven Purcell, former leader of Glasgow City Council. The recent turmoil of Glasgow City Council, which saw the resignation late last week by its leader, Steven Purcell has taken a new twist as Mr Purcell’s lawyers, Levy & McRae, now appear to be targeting the media in an attempt to prevent further reporting on Mr Purcell’s situation and the facts surrounding his resignation from Glasgow City Council, facts which only now are coming to light after furious attempts by the law firm to gag the City Council itself and news organisations investigating the affair.
Lord Advocate tried similar Press Complaint move over abuse story. Levy & McRae, who were hired by Mr Purcell, have apparently filed complaints with the Press Complaints Commission according to BBC News, of what they say is "harassment of a sick man". Levy & McRae are known to have used the same tactic of making complaints to the PCC in similar crisis management stories, to dissuade newspapers from further investigations into scandals affecting their clients, notably most recently performing a similar tactical complaint to the PCC on behalf of the Lord Advocate, Elish Angiolini, over allegations connected with the recent & continuing controversy over the arrest of journalist & broadcaster Robert Green, who had been investigating allegations of abuse made by downs syndrome girl Hollie Greig against high profile members of Scotland’s legal establishment.
During Scottish Law Reporter’s investigations into the way in which Levy & McRae censored media reporting of Hollie Greig’s claims of abuse, it came to light the law firm also had strong ties to the current Justice Secretary, Kenny MacAskill, who had once worked at Levy & McRae. It also came to light the law firm represented not only the Lord Advocate Ms Agniolini, but also others connected with allegations made by Ms Greig, notably a serving Sheriff, who used the law firm to obtain an interdict censoring further reporting on Ms Greig's case which contributed to the journalist Mr Green’s arrest in Aberdeen, reported earlier HERE
Mr Purcell, who is reported to have attended Borders based Castle Craig Hospital, which specialises in treatment for alcohol & drug addiction, also hired PR Company, Media House, which specialises in ‘crisis management’. Clearly the crisis is not being handled very well, as the story of what happened now appears to be unravelling, according to Scottish Television’s latest report : Steven Purcell went missing from private clinic.
(This story and its many headlines should serve as a lesson in who not to employ for legal stage management of news, however we wish Mr Purcell a speedy recovery from his current personal circumstances - Ed)
BBC News reports :
Glasgow City Council officials had been set to say that former leader Steven Purcell quit because of a "chemical dependency", it has emerged.
Mr Purcell resigned on Tuesday citing exhaustion caused by the burden of his responsibilities. The council statement was abandoned after officials agreed with Mr Purcell's lawyers that they should not mention his personal issues.
His spokesman said claims of a chemical dependency were without foundation. He added that the issue was now in the hands of Mr Purcell's legal team.
The 37-year-old is recovering after being treated at a rehabilitation clinic in the Borders at the weekend. Castle Craig Hospital describes itself as "one of Europe's top rehab clinics" and provides inpatient treatment for those suffering from alcohol and drug addiction.
It became apparent over the weekend that Mr Purcell would be standing down as leader of Glasgow City Council. An official announcement of his resignation was made at a meeting of the Labour group on Tuesday morning. A PR firm appointed by Mr Purcell issued a statement on Wednesday saying the former council leader was recuperating with family, and asking the media to allow him time and space to recover to full health.
It has since emerged that lawyers acting for Mr Purcell have complained to the Press Complaints Commission about what they said was "harassment of a sick man".
The former council leader's advisers said he was suffering from exhaustion and cited stress over the preparations for the Commonwealth Games and troubles at Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) among the reasons for his departure.
Proceedings to choose a new leader will begin later in the year, probably after a general election. Until then, the role will be filled by Mr Purcell's former deputy, Councillor Jim Coleman.