Edinburgh Council: Will Labour vote with SNP to get rid of Tory councillors in formal council jobs? – Angus Robertson

The Labour-run Edinburgh Council is on its knees.

Councillor Ross McKenzie accused Edinburgh Labour of using 'Tory votes' to prop up its council administration
Councillor Ross McKenzie accused Edinburgh Labour of using 'Tory votes' to prop up its council administration

It is no one’s fault other than the Labour leadership, who did a grubby deal with the Tories and Lib Dems to pass their agenda, despite having only 13 of 63 seats. The SNP won the election and is the largest party by far with 19 seats.

Unsurprisingly, the consequences of the deal are now coming to pass, and Labour’s own councillors have had enough.

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Last week, Labour Councillor Ross McKenzie took a principled stance and condemned his party’s leadership for compromising on their integrity for the sake of holding power, saying his party used “Tory votes” to prop up an administration that was “avoiding accountability”.

With ongoing discussions about the budget as yet unresolved, it raises serious questions about how far the council leader is willing to side with the Tories to keep his position.

As is the case with the two parties at national level, it is increasingly hard to tell them apart.

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We in the SNP have had enough. It is simply wrong that Tory councillors – whose party lost half their seats and were resoundingly rejected in May’s elections – are given extra paid positions as a consequence of supporting Labour.

Therefore, this Thursday, the SNP group will lodge a motion to dismiss the Tories who hold those official positions from their formal roles in the council. Labour councillors have a new chance to get rid of the Tories in Edinburgh. Let’s hope they take it.

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Angus Robertson is the SNP MSP for Edinburgh Central and Constitution, External Affairs and Culture Secretary