A Tory councillor suspended over sexual harassment allegations could be formally removed as depute provost in March.
Alan Donnelly was suspended from the party last week after it was revealed Police Scotland is investigating an allegation he sexually harassed an individual at a civic reception in the city’s Holburn Street in November.
The Torry and Ferryhill councillor was also barred from carrying out civic duties in the wake of the allegations.
Aberdeen City Council co-leader Douglas Lumsden has since confirmed to the Evening Express that Mr Donnelly will be removed from the role of depute provost if the investigation has not concluded by March.
Mr Lumsden, who also heads up the council’s Conservative group, said: “The next full council meeting is on March 4 and if these allegations are not cleared up by then, we would look to replace him as depute provost.
“This in no way means that Councillor Donnelly is guilty or anything. Everyone is innocent until proven otherwise.
“But he can’t be doing civic duties as we know that’s not right.”
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Mr Lumsden maintained Mr Donnelly would remain within the council’s ruling Conservative, Labour and independent alliance while Police Scotland probe the allegation.
But he added: “If things change and he’s found guilty then that would change completely but everyone has a right of innocent until proven guilty.”
Decisions in respect of appointments to civic roles are made by meetings of full council, with the next meeting of all councillors scheduled for March 4.
This would be the first formal opportunity for councillors to remove Mr Donnelly from his civic position.
SNP group leader Stephen Flynn has called for Mr Donnelly to be suspended from the council group.
He said it was “incomprehensible” that he be suspended by the party nationally yet be allowed to remain a leading figure in the group and within the administration.
The ruling administration has a wafer-thin single member majority over the opposition groups.
If the Conservative councillor was also removed from the ruling administration, this would likely lead to a complete overhaul of the local authority’s committees, tipping the balance in favour of opposition members.
Mr Donnelly could not be reached for comment.