Friday, November 23, 2007

The past of Celtic Trust Chairman Alex Mosson

Daily Record – 18th May 1999

CONVICTED criminal Alex Mosson is the new Lord Provost of Glasgow.

The Labour politician will become the public face of Scotland's largest city despite convictions for assault and housebreaking.

Colleagues in the Labour Group of Glasgow City Council voted by a clear majority for Mosson to take over the high-profile civic role, which will pay him pounds 24,000 a year of public money.

Reformed alcoholic Mosson will also become Lord Lieutenant of Glasgow - the Queen's official representative in the city.

Last night, the 58-year-old said: 'My colleagues have placed their trust in me and I won't let them down.
'I'm looking forward to working with a unified group and taking Glasgow into the Millennium.

'I've overcome my past difficulties with the support of my family and today with the help of the Labour Party.'
The Record revealed yesterday that Mosson had been jailed for nine months for assault and six months for housebreaking.

Shortly after we broke the story, desperate Mosson spoke of his past to a local newspaper in an 11th-hour bid to salvage his tarnished reputation.

Playing for the sympathy vote, the councillor for Anderston blamed his battle with alcoholism for his violent behaviour and told how he once broke into a pub to satisfy his craving for drink.

He said: 'The convictions were part of my problem.
'It is something I am not proud of, but it is a fact that with the support of my wife and my family and my faith I have overcome that problem. I overcame the problem of alcoholism and I have worked on behalf of the people of Anderston since 1984.'

Saying he has been sober for the past 21 years, Mosson added: 'Because of my own illness, I have been able to identify and assist others in similar positions.
'I have represented the city at home and abroad with dignity.'

Unemployed Mosson, who lives in a plush Victorian home in Glasgow's upmarket west end, will now have a hefty salary and enjoy countless perks of office, including a chauffeur-driven limo.

Mosson's supporters argued that he was a worthy candidate for Lord Provost because his convictions from the late 1960s are now 'spent'.

As a councillor, he was under no obligation to reveal his criminal past.

But employees of Glasgow City Council working in areas such as social work and education have no option but to reveal details of their past crimes.

The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act, which usually prevents such convictions being disclosed after a set time, is not applied.

Yesterday, the Scottish Office admitted that the new Secretary of State, John Reid, would not be able to prevent Mosson becoming the Queen's representative in Glasgow.

Of the 32 Lord Lieutenants in Scotland, 28 are recommended by the Scottish Secretary.

But the four city Lord Provosts are appointed by their councils.

In yesterday's election, Councillor Charlie Gordon was elected unopposed as council leader, and Jim Coleman as his deputy.

Last night, an SNP spokesman said of Mosson's new role: 'This shows that nothing has changed with Labour in Glasgow. It's the same old cronyism.'

Liberal Democrat councillor Dr Christopher Mason added: 'I am very concerned at this.'
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