James Dornan today decided to step aside as the by-election candidate for Glasgow North-East. The following statement was issued earlier today.
“In light of a report in one of today's newspapers, I have decided to step aside as the SNP candidate in the Glasgow North East by-election.
“In doing so, I want to make clear that I am not ashamed of having experienced financial difficulties in the past. Many people know only too well how that feels.
“I am taking legal advice on the suggestion that there may have been a technical breach of charities legislation by virtue of me being appointed a partner director of Culture and Sport Glasgow by Glasgow City Council, a position for which I received no financial gain whatsoever. However, I am absolutely clear that throughout the period of the Protected Trust Deed, I acted in good faith. I took advice about its implications and was advised that it was not a bar to holding public office.
“However, I am not prepared to allow this issue to overshadow the by-election or to be exploited by Labour as a distraction from the real issues of the campaign. Labour has let the people of Glasgow and Scotland down. This by-election is a chance for people to focus on the issues that matter and to elect an MP who will fight their corner. I believe that the SNP offers the prospect of real change for Glasgow North East and I am not prepared to allow allegations about me to get in the way of that.”
A spokesperson for the SNP said:
“This is an honourable decision by James Dornan. He is clearly putting the interests of the SNP and the Glasgow North East constituency ahead of his own
“There is absolutely no shame in experiencing financial difficulties. Many people - particularly in this economic climate - know what that is like. Nor is having a Protected Trust Deed any bar to holding public office or being a candidate for election.
“However, James has decided that he wants to take legal advice on the suggestion that his appointment as a partner director of Culture & Sport Glasgow might have constituted a technical breach of charities legislation. He has made clear that he doesn't want this issue to be a distraction from the real issues facing people in Glasgow North East and he is to be commended for that.
“The Party will now move immediately to arrange a selection meeting to choose a new candidate and we look forward to the campaign ahead in which we will contrast the positive record of the SNP with the failed policies of Labour.”