Glasgow stabbings: Scottish Labour’s shady connections with the asylum seeker landlords and an SNP protest

This sent to us by a follower of the blog who prefers to stay anonymous.

The Glasgow asylum landlords, Mears Group, accused of dumping vulnerable refugees in hotels with no screening for mental health conditions and without financial support has connections with Scottish Labour, exposed in February 2019.

The link to the full account is below but these extracts are shocking and more so in the light of what has been happening recently:

In Scotland, Mears has a major contract with North Lanarskhire Council, worth an estimated £445 million over ten years, to maintain the council’s 36,500 council homes, as well as schools and public buildings.

The contract started in January 2011, as a “partnership deal” between the council and a company called Morrison Facilities Services Ltd, a subsidiary of Anglian Water. In 2012, Mears bought out Morrison and took over the deal. The joint venture is now called “Mears Scotland”, with Mears holding 67% of the stock and the council 33%.

The managing director is Willie Docherty, whose wife Sadie Docherty was Lord Provost of Glasgow between 2012 and 2017. Before joining Mears in 2012, Willie was head of Glasgow’s “arms length” company City Building, which was spun-off from the city council’s old building services department – and became embroiled in scandals over awarding contracts to several Labour Party donors.

In January 2015, North Lanarkshire’s Labour council hit a crisis, as one Labour councillor named Tommy Morgan was sacked from his role as chair of the “audit and governance panel”. Scottish media reported allegations that he had been ousted for “asking awkward questions” about the Mears contract. Later, Morgan said he was suing the Labour Group over the issue.

In July 2015, council leader Jim McCabe was reported by opposition councillors to the Public Standards Commissioner. According to the Scottish Herald, Mears had “just secured substantial concessions in its housing repairs contract with the council – costing the authority some £25m,” while “a report from the council’s own auditors, accountants Scott-Moncrieff” said “councillors had not had full facts before deciding not to re-tender the deal.” An SNP councillor then asked the Commissioner to investigate whether McCabe had failed in not declaring his personal friendship with managing director Willie Docherty.

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