North Lanarkshire Council: Labor eyes Tory votes to oust SNP

SCOTTISH Labor hopes Tory votes will help them take power of a local authority from the SNP.

The party has elected a new group leader – former vice-leader Tracy Carragher.

A vote will be held at a full council meeting on Thursday, August 11, where the SNP hopes to install Carragher as the council’s new leader.

READ MORE: SNP slams Anas Sarwar over Labor’s ‘dirty deals’ with Tories

However, Labor councilors have planned a takeover bid – which will require Tory votes to succeed.

The SNP group said such cooperation would be “an affront to democracy and shows once again to what depths the Labor leadership will sink”.

Jim Logue, leader of the North Lanarkshire Labor group, told The Sunday Mail: “This ongoing saga begs the question of what an elected member of the SNP must do to lose the party stick and be suspended or expelled.

“The Labor group will table a counter-proposal to regain control as the current government is mired in sexual and financial misconduct.”

In the local council elections in May, the SNP returned as the strongest faction. The party won 36 of the 77 seats in North Lanarkshire.

Scottish Labor came back just four seats and brought back 32 councillors. To beat the SNP in a vote, they need the support of Conservative councillors, five of whom won seats in May’s general election.

There is also one Councilor from the British Unionist Party, two Independents and one Green. However, the Greens and Independents are reportedly likely to abstain.

As such, Labor could only take control of the Council if the Tories supported them.

Councilor Carragher told The National: “The numbers in Council have not changed since May and the only way Labor would stand a chance of voting would be if they struck a deal with Tory and BUP councilors in North Lanarkshire… Even then they don’t get a majority.

“If Labor tried to take control with the numbers as they are it would result in continued chaos in North Lanarkshire as even with their allies in the Tories and BUP they still don’t have the numbers to support their budget or get other business through committees.

“It is time they accepted the decision of the people of North Lanarkshire once and for all and work with this SNP administration to improve our local communities.”

The National: Neil Gray, Minister for Europe from Holyrood

Neil Gray, SNP Minister and MSP for Airdrie and Shotts said: “The people of North Lanarkshire need and deserve an SNP administration now more than ever and Councilor Tracy Carragher will be an excellent, hardworking and committed leader in the North Lanarkshire Council.

“The SNP forms the government voted for by the people of North Lanarkshire and any proposal to elect a Labor leader to the Council would be just another shameless attempt at Labor power-taking.”

Scottish Conservatives have been asked to comment.

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