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Glasgow Lord Provost to step down over expenses row

Eva Bolander was heavily criticised after spending thousands on clothing and shoes.

Lord Provost: Quit over expenses row.
Lord Provost: Quit over expenses row. Glasgow City Council

The Lord Provost of Glasgow has resigned after a row over expenses.

Eva Bolander was heavily criticised after it emerged she has claimed £8000 in expenses for clothes, shoes and beauty products.

Earlier this year it was revealed she had spent thousands of pounds worth of taxpayers' money on 23 pairs of shoes, seven blazers, 14 dresses, five coats, six jackets and underwear.

She also claimed for money spent on ten haircuts, 20 nail treatments and make-up.

The SNP councillor agreed to quit after a two-hour meeting on Wednesday.

Earlier this month, Ms Bolander apologised and said she would repay the money for some items, but did not specify which. 

The expenses date from May 2017 to August 2019. 

In a letter to her Glasgow City Council colleagues, Ms Bolander said expense claims for each of the 150 items were "made in good faith and scrupulously accounted for", adding that none of the charges broke council rules. 

She wrote: "Although the spending incurred was within the rules, on reflection, there are items which I should not have chosen to reclaim. 

"I am sorry about that and I am in discussion with financial services to come to an arrangement to repay the relevant expenditure." 

The issue was raised at First Minister's Questions in Holyrood when Conservative MSP Adam Tomkins argued Ms Bolander had "ripped off the people of Glasgow". 

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said her SNP colleague Ms Bolander was an "excellent Lord Provost" but was "absolutely right" to reflect on her expenses claims and had made the "right decision" that some should not have been made. 

Glasgow Conservative MSP Annie Wells said: "This has been embarrassing for the SNP from start to finish. 

"The Provost should never have charged the public for designer clothes, and she should have gone when this news first broke. 

"Nicola Sturgeon and Glasgow City Council leader Susan Aitken look foolish for defending the Provost to the hilt when everyone in Glasgow could see her expenses claims were a joke. 

"Hopefully the next Provost will be fit to serve the people of Glasgow."

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