Fund supporter

Rock musician revealed as LEZ campaign donor

Paul McManus
Paul McManus: no hesitation

The mystery benefactor to the Glasgow LEZ Fight Bank Fund has been revealed as Paul McManus, the drummer with legendary Scots rock band, Gun.

McManus last month pledged £100,000 to the campaign which opposes the introduction of the low emission zone and said he would go even further if needed.

He has a range of business interests including ownership of Lanark-based Cloburn Quarry, recording studios and music management companies.

The musician revealed that following a bowel cancer scare and the birth of a granddaughter he wants to use his money to do good things. He donated £130,000 to the Scottish Labour party in 2022 as a vote of confidence in its leader, Anas Sarwar.

Mr McManus is a close friend of leisure industry mogul Donald MacLeod, who is an integral part of LEZ Fight Back initiative alongside campaigner, William Paton.

Mr MacLeod said: “I knew from the moment we started the campaign that it would appeal to Paul and he had no hesitation in asking us how much we needed.”

Low emission zone
The low emission zone has been hugely controversial

When asked why he was so committed to the LEZ campaign, Mr McManus said: “I believe this is a cynical stealth tax, levied by a failed and discredited administration, and which is aimed at and has a significantly disproportionate effect on poor, low-paid, hardworking families who are currently struggling to cope with an unprecedented increase in their cost of living.

“It will also affect struggling city centre businesses and result in an even steeper decline in the condition of our once proud city.

“I also note that the same administration is considering a further attack on vulnerable people and sectors by seeking to impose further tax in the form of congestion charges.

“Further, it appears they had cynically hoped to keep these plans under wraps until after the forthcoming local Rutherglen by-election, thus deliberately attempting to deceive voters of their true intentions.

“I am committed to fighting this all the way and I’ll make available additional and sufficient funds to ensure we can take the SNP Glasgow City Council on in any forthcoming court cases.”

The LEZ Fightback Campaign, under the leadership of Glasgow car repair business owner William Paton, has a procedural hearing at the High Court on 29 September followed by a substantive hearing on October 17 in front of Lady Poole.

Mr Paton said at the start of the campaign that Phase Two of the LEZ was a “dead duck.”

He said: “The data that council is relying on to proceed with phase two is over half a decade out of date. It was collated pre-Covid, pre-hybrid working and most importantly, pre-phase one of the LEZ which addressed the largest and only significant polluters – buses.

“The buses are now totally compliant, and we know that emissions will continue to fall without any further action due to the natural cycle of cleaner vehicles replacing older vehicles.

“The council’s impact assessments show that phase two will massively and disproportionately affect those who can least afford to make the changes required to comply – including those on lower incomes, those with special care needs, those with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups.

It also shows it will greatly increase inequality, thereby risking an increase in the poverty-related attainment gap.”

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