Anger in North Lanarkshire as Tories back Labour to form council

Labour deny doing deal with Tories to take power in North Lanarkshire council

SNP COUNCILLORS and politicians in North Lanarkshire are enraged over an alleged Labour-Tory deal to keep Labour in power as the council administration.

Among nation-wide talks on council deals and coalitions, Labour proposed forming a minority administration in North Lanarkshire despite trailing the SNP group by one seat in this month's council election result.

Yet with the votes of the Conservative party, Labour retained office – leading to accusations of an “alliance” between the two unionists parties. As the new administration posed for photos after the council meeting, protesters unveiled a “Red Tories Out!” banner behind them.

Inter-party rivalry has been fierce for generations in North Lanarskire, with regular insinuations of malpractice at the council under Labour. SNP branches in the area have also been beset by what is referred to as the 'McMafia' feud between local factions.

The new administration means that Tory councillor Meghan Gallagher will be convener of the Audit and Scrutiny Panel.

Motherwell and Wishaw SNP MSP Clare Adamson said: “Labour have sold-out to the Tories in a desperate bid to retain power, despite losing the election to the SNP. I shudder to think what concessions Scottish Labour have made to the Tories in respect of vital local services in order to seal this desperate deal.”

“As the grand-daughter of a steel worker, I am appalled that Scottish Labour, the supposed party for working people, have teamed up with the Tories yet again.”

The Scottish Labour Party HQ suspended all of its Aberdeen councillors due to an administration deal made by the group with the Conservative Party. However, the Labour group in North Lanarkshire deny making any form of council deal. “Here's the proposals that were rejected by the SNP which would have seen all parties given a stake in the future of North Lanarkshire,” the Labour group published following the formation of the new administration. “Sad they've chosen to play party politics rather than put residents first.”

Yet the image published by Labour only offered the SNP one position out of 32 – with Labour taking 30 of the major roles.

In a statement put out after the accusation were made, the Labour group added: "David Stocks and the SNP are becoming more desperate by the day.

“His claims of being in a position to offer the Labour party any deal to form a coalition are laughable, given that three members of his party have told us they plan to leave the SNP group barely a fortnight after they were elected.

“How can the SNP possibly form part of a strong administration when they can’t even reach agreement with members of their own group, let alone members of any other?”

Picture courtesy of Ged Carroll

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