The Lord Provost of Aberdeen is facing calls from Holyrood to resign – after overseeing a “racist” jibe aimed at another councillor.
David Cameron is being encouraged to quit as the city’s civic head after the raucous council meeting earlier this month.
North-east Conservative MSP Douglas Lumsden is urging the SNP lord provost to step down as he’s “not up to the job”.
He called Mr Cameron an “embarrassment” to the city after the council gained nationwide attention over attack.
And it has since been confirmed that the city ambassador has been reported to watchdogs for the alleged “systematic bullying” of another councillor.
Lord Provost of Aberdeen branded an ’embarrassment’ amid calls to resign
The lord provost, who was chairing the meeting, did not immediately intervene when then-SNP councillor Kairin van Sweeden targeted Labour’s Deena Tissera.
Deriding her a “new Scot” in a debate over how to help Aberdeen’s poorest people, Ms van Sweeden has since suspended her own party membership.
But during the Town House meeting, Mr Cameron let Ms van Sweeden continue speaking after the comment.
He instead took exception to the Labour and other opposition councillors who shouted out in anger at the remark.
The lord provost’s demand for “respect” from those other councillors, including Ms Tissera, caused fury.
A fierce row broke out firstly over the remark that the Sri Lankan born Labour councillor said made it seem as though she was “just off the boat”.
‘Highly concerning’: Claims lord provost did not ‘call out blatant racism’
And Conservative MSP Mr Lumsden believes it has already wrought “immense reputational damage” upon Aberdeen.
In a letter to the lord provost, seen by The P&J, the former Tory city council co-leader wrote: “Racism should have no place within the chamber of Aberdeen City Council.
“It is highly concerning Kairin van Sweeden was allowed to continue speaking for so long when her words were clearly very offensive.
“You spoke up only after being called upon to do so by fellow councillors and you failed to immediately condemn her language.
“Instead, you called for respect from the opposition, as though they had been the ones who were disrespectful when, in fact, they were simply only trying to call out blatant racism – which was the right thing to do.
“You have become the story and, for that reason, I urge you to resign from the prestigious position of lord provost before you undermine our city any further.”
Watchdog to probe Aberdeen City Council racism row councillor – and the lord provost
A sideshow coincided with the racism row, as Mr Cameron and his long-time foe, independent councillor Jennifer Stewart, reignited their long-running feud.
As well as gaining national headlines, the battle of Aberdeen Town House has now resulted in both councillors van Sweeden and Cameron being probed by the standards watchdog.
Ms van Sweeden referred herself to the Standards Commission and the SNP’s disciplinary process after Mr Yousaf’s criticism.
And Mrs Stewart said she had “no other option” but to take her concerns about the “misogynist” lord provost to the Standards Commission too.
It’s understood that the complaint has now been officially lodged.
He denies prejudice against women, having faced sexism claims in the early days of the his tenure as Aberdeen’s civic head.
Mr Cameron previously told The P&J he was seeking legal advice over the “defamatory” comments made by Mrs Stewart during the secondary squabble, during which he claimed he was subject to ageism.
The lord provost did not comment on Mr Lumsden’s letter.
Instead, SNP council co-leader Christian Allard and his Lib Dem partner Ian Yuill said: “The Lord Provost has done an excellent job as civic head of Aberdeen City Council since his appointment and we believe he will continue to do so moving forward.
“As chairman of council meetings, the Lord Provost has had to deal with a number of challenging situations since his appointment, which he has dealt with calmly and reasonably.”