Connect with us


Scottish Labour Leader Faces Calls for Investigation Into Why He Gave Taxpayer-Funded Job to Aide’s Wife – Despite Her Being Constantly AWOL



ANAS Sarwar is under investigation for favoritism allegations involving his spin doctor’s wife.

The Scottish Labour leader is being pressed to clarify whether Lilith Johnstone receives preferential treatment in her second job as a Glasgow councillor, which pays £20,000 a year.

Ms Johnstone, a full-time teacher married to Scottish Labour’s head of media and digital Oliver Milne, has the lightest workload of all of Glasgow’s 85 councillors on paper.

Her total speaking time in her first year at the City Chambers was five minutes.

She is the only councillor from any party who does not serve on any committee other than the entire council and her local area partnership.


She is the only councillor from any party who does not serve on any committee other than the entire council and her local area partnership

The Aide and the AWOL wife.

The average Labour councillor in the city serves on three additional committees, the average SNP councillor on four additional committees, and the average Green councillor on five additional committees.

Ms Johnstone failed to attend any of the five area partnership meetings in her first year as a councillor for the Patrick East/Kelvindale ward, despite the fact that four were online.

She also missed two of the eight full council meetings and spoke at only two of the six she did attend, aside from a brief question and reply in September.

Other than her maiden speech in December and replying to roll call votes, her only other spoken chamber contribution was 30 seconds of praise for her fellow teachers in March.

She sits on no outside bodies and is one of only nine councillors not to hold regular surgeries, asking people to get in touch by phone or email.


The Scottish Tories described her as an “AWOL councillor”.

Ms Johnstone works as an English teacher in a secondary school in neighboring East Renfrewshire Council, according to her council register of interests.

“Partner is employed by a political party that has occasional interactions with Glasgow City Council,” she writes under “close family members.”

There are now doubts about whether Ms Johnstone’s workload was reduced due to her ties to the party hierarchy.

Many other councillors work but attend more council meetings than Ms Johnstone, including two from her ward: Green Blair Anderson works for MSP Ross Greer in Holyrood, while Labour’s Jill Brown heads an in-house legal team for a big bank.


Ms Johnstone effectively ran as a paper candidate in the 2017 local elections, in a ward where Labour won only one of four seats in the previous election.

She received only 358 first preference votes (the other winners received between 1800 and 2939 first preferences), but she won after nine rounds of transfer votes.

Ms Johnstone, a member of the EIS teaching union, would be eligible to a salary of up to £47,500 as an experienced teacher.

Her salary as a basic councillor was £19,571 last year and will be £20,099 this year.

Her salary as a councillor would so exceed £100,000 over a five-year electoral cycle.


Glasgow is now governed by an SNP minority with 37 seat, supported by ten Green councillors.


Labour are just one seat behind the SNP, with 36 councillors, and are desperate to get control of the authority at some point in the current session.

If Ms Johnstone stood down and Labour lost the ensuing byelection, it would be much harder for the party to do so.

Council sources said some of Ms Johnstone’s colleagues felt she had failed to take on more work as she got used to the job, yet suffered no consequences.


One said: “It appears to be someone not bothering to put themselves forward for anything, and being given the nod from their group leadership to be like that.

“Local government is full of people with second jobs who spend evenings and weekends catching up with committee work and have arrangements with their employers.

“I’m sure those who make the effort for their constituents and communities will ask why others appear to have licence to do the minimum.”


Continue Reading
1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Joe Scott

    June 7, 2023 at 5:45 pm


Leave a Reply