THE leader of Glasgow’s SNP-run council has offered an apology over leaked comments about a Labour politician in a private Facebook group.

Susan Aitken was reported to the Standards Commissioner after she shared a picture of Labour group leader McAveety at a Rangers game during controversy about the local authority’s decision to reject proposals for a fanzone at Ibrox.

Labour accused Aitken of attempting to promote sectarian division.

McAveety was pictured in the directors box at a Rangers game in 2015. An accompanying comment from Aitken’s account read: “Oh and if anyone fancies getting these nice photos of Frank McAveety enjoying hospitality in the Rangers directors’ box out there.”

The post in a SNP group closed Facebook page was leaked last month.

The council leader said the comment was “just a joke” and not related to sectarianism.

“It was nothing to do with sectarianism or football”, she said during a council meeting on Thursday, adding that it was made in private and was not shared by anyone at the time.

Aitken pointed out that the SNP, like other parties, had been the “victim of a leak” and said political groups are entitled to have private discussions.

"If I had wanted to do as Frank McAveety suggests, then I could have tweeted it,” she said. “I chose not to. I had no interest in continuing the unpleasant narrative.”

Aitken said the leaker had “betrayed the trust of the SNP group” by putting it in the public domain.

She added: “If Councillor McAveety is genuinely offended, then I apologise.”

However, the council leader said she shouldn’t have to apologise as “there was never any sectarian motive”.

McAveety said he was disappointed in the remark as the leader represents a local authority where football affiliation represents a “challenge”.