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Lord Provost resigns over £8000 clothing expenses bill

Eva Bolander stepped down at the end of a statement at Glasgow City Council on Thursday.

Glasgow's Lord Provost has resigned following a backlash over billing the taxpayer £8000 for clothes, shoes and beauty products.

Calls were made for Eva Bolander to resign after it was revealed she had spent thousands of pounds on 23 pairs of shoes, seven blazers, 14 dresses, five coats, six jackets and underwear.

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

At a Glasgow City Council meeting on Thursday, she stood down from her role.

She said: "As Lord Provost I have been privileged to represent and advocate for the great city of Glasgow, for its communities and for its people.

"It has been an honour to represent at around 800 events - from local gala days, diplomatic events, international visitors, and solemn occasions like Remembrance Sunday.

"I came to this city as a new Glaswegian from Sweden almost a quarter of a century ago, immersed myself in the life of Glasgow, raised my family as Scots, and I have been welcome every minute I have spent here.

"These past two and a half years have been among the proudest of my life.

"It has always been recognised that the role as Lord Provost carries an additional cost and it takes place almost entirely in the public eye.

"It is for this reason the civic allowance set by the Scottish Government is in place. It ensures that the role of First Citizen is open to any elected member in the chamber, and especially anyone who hasn't got the resources to do so.

"My spending incurred was within the rules and guidance, however on reflection there are items that I should have chosen to not reclaim.

"And for that I apologised unreservedly to my colleagues across the chamber and especially to the people of Glasgow.

"I am grateful for have been given the opportunity to represent Glasgow and all its communities and people, but it is the city's best interest at heart I am resigning with effect from after this statement."

Resigned:  Eva Bolander has stepped down.
Resigned: Eva Bolander has stepped down. Glasgow City Council

Ms Bolander went on to thank the staff of the Lord Provost's office, the civic staff, and all the rest of the workers in the City Chambers who have "always done their utmost" to ensure she could perform her duties.

She also thanked her Deputy Lord Provost and her bailies, who have represented on her behalf.

Ms Bolander added: "Glasgow is a fantastic city. It is a city emerging on a global scale and I'm proud to have played a small part in that.

"I will continue to represent my constituents and to work for the best for them, and to work for the best for Glasgow, and to work for the best for Scotland."

With lord provosts expected to attend hundreds of events, the Scottish Government has allocated a civic allowance to each council.

For Glasgow City Council, this is subject to a yearly maximum of £5000.

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.

Deputy Lord Provost Philip Braat will take over until Ms Bolander's replacement is elected.

Speaking at the council meeting, he said: "We thank councillor Bolander for her work and her service over the past two-and-a-half years. 

"I have seen at first-hand that the role of Lord Provost is not always an easy one, but councillor Bolander has served the city well while in post. 

"Also as her colleague I have seen at first-hand the work that councillor Bolander has done in serving her constituents in the Anderston/City/Yorkhill ward. 

"I know that she will continue to deliver for the constituents."

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