Edinburgh Council: Why I'm quitting as a councillor – John McLellan

Over the past four years, I’ve tried to use this column to hold the city council administration to account, to ensure the issues which matter are publicly exposed and views the SNP-Labour administration would rather ignore are aired.

Thursday, 11th November 2021, 4:55 am
John McLellan plans to stand down as an Edinburgh City councillor
John McLellan plans to stand down as an Edinburgh City councillor

But after becoming elected in 2017, it soon became apparent that councillors do not have the same freedoms afforded to most commentators because of the limitations of Code of Conduct by which all elected members must abide.

It never sat comfortably with me that councillors should have fewer rights of expression than members of the public, but I accepted the rules and have always done my best to stick with them.

Those in political positions are vulnerable to accusations, and in recent weeks unsubstantiated allegations have been circulating about me and I therefore referred myself to the Scottish ethical standards commission for an independent adjudication.

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With the next election six months away, all councillors must decide whether to run again, and although accepted as a candidate for Craigentinny and Duddingston, I have decided to stand down to concentrate on my newspaper and journalism activities, which have not always had the attention they deserved as I tried to fit them in with the many duties of a councillor.

It has been, and will remain for the next six months, a privilege to serve people in the area and to work with my ward colleagues in the other parties who, although political opponents, I regard as friends. We have tried tirelessly to bring about improvements for the communities we represent and ultimately that’s what people vote for.

John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston

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