Edinburgh Council: SNP leader Adam McVey will come out worst in row over attempted deal with Tory party – John McLellan

Pity poor Adam McVey. The Edinburgh SNP council group leader must have been up all night trying to work out how to smear the Conservatives while making people believe he and his Green pals hadn’t been making offers to their hated opponents.
SNP leader Adam McVey (Picture: Ian Georgeson)SNP leader Adam McVey (Picture: Ian Georgeson)
SNP leader Adam McVey (Picture: Ian Georgeson)

To recap, Liberton’s Conservative councillor, Phil Doggart, told November’s full council meeting that immediately after May’s elections Councillor McVey had offered paid positions to Conservatives to persuade them not to back a new Labour-led administration to replace the SNP. This column last week revealed the offer was to keep Councillor Joanna Mowat as convener of the governance, risk and best value (GRBV) committee, as well as bumping up group leaders’ responsibility payments.

It’s hardly surprising he was desperate, given losing the council leadership would cut his salary by around £20,000. And he’s still desperate, claiming in this week’s Evening News that the “Tory's (sic) told a cock-and-bull story”, insisting that “the SNP has never offered the Tories any administration positions and it’s simply ridiculous and dishonest to suggest so”.

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Dishonest? GRBV convener isn’t an administration post and neither Councillor Doggart nor this column claimed otherwise, so it appears Councillor McVey is relying on technical sophistry to cover his tracks, perhaps hoping he can’t be rumbled because his gambit was in an unwitnessed one-to-one conversation. Unfortunately, the offer was referred to senior officers and reinforced by the eager Green councillor, Chas Booth, so going by the civil law ‘balance of probability’ test, Councillor McVey is on a loser. Lies is a very ugly word.