A top Tory councillor suspended by his own party amid a sexual harassment probe will remain a member of Aberdeen City Council’s administration group.
Depute lord provost Alan Donnelly will continue to serve in the ruling coalition while police investigate allegations about his conduct after a Remembrance Day event.
The administration group has 23 councillors – and a wafer-thin majority of just one over the SNP-Liberal Democrat opposition.
Police are investigating claims Councillor Donnelly sexually harassed a man at a civic reception in Aberdeen’s Holburn Street in November
The Scottish Conservatives suspended the Torry and Ferryhill member after a “serious complaint” was made to them and are awaiting the outcome of the probe.
Had Mr Donnelly been forced out of the Tory group it is understood this may have resulted in the political structure of the council’s committees being revised.
Police have said their inquiries are “at an early stage” and no charges have been brought against Mr Donnelly, who has so far declined to comment on the allegations made against him.
Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden, who is also the Scottish Conservatives’ group leader in the ruling Tory, Aberdeen Labour and Independent alliance, has barred his colleague from carrying out any civic duties in his depute provost role until the outcome of the police investigation.
But last night, he insisted that Mr Donnelly would not be suspended from the administration group.
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Councillor Lumsden said: “He is still a member of the Conservative group at the council and will remain so until the situation is resolved one way or another.
“He has not been found guilty of anything.
“I think people need to be patient and see the outcome of the police investigation.
“He is innocent until proven guilty and I wouldn’t want to prejudice him.”
Last night, a police spokeswoman said she could give no details about whether Mr Donnelly had been questioned by officers as the investigation was ongoing.
However, no charges have been brought in the case.