Quitting the city could be a step too far for leadership candidate - Steve Cardownie

Councillor Lesley MacinnesCouncillor Lesley Macinnes
Councillor Lesley Macinnes
I devoted the major part of my column last week to the City of Edinburgh Council SNP Group’s procedure to elect a new leader now that the current leader, Councillor Adam Nols-McVey, has signalled his intention not to seek re-election.

Under the headline, Three in the frame to replace Adam as SNP group leader, I predicted that the successful candidate was likely to emerge from a group of three, namely, councillors Lesley Macinnes, Kate Campbell and Marco Biagi, but I now may have to revise that prediction.

Because last weekend councillor Macinnes “upped sticks” and flitted to the picturesque town of Peebles, situated nearly 23 miles from Edinburgh’s High Street, thereby casting doubt on her ability to win the vote in the SNP Group.

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While it is perfectly in order for her to continue in her role as a city councillor as her principal place of work, namely The City Chambers, is within the city council boundary, it will undoubtedly raise eyebrows amongst those who are poised to cast their vote in the leadership election – should she choose to stand that is.

It might be seen in some quarters that her decision to quit the city for Peebles is a step too far, particularly as she was largely responsible for the introduction of the “Spaces for People” programme (flaws and all) on the streets of the city which she has now chosen to leave.

I may, of course, be doing her a disservice and she has no plans to compete for the leadership role but, in any case, if she does “throw her hat in the ring” she has undoubtedly hampered her chances by hiring the removal van.

Step forward Councillor Kate Campbell.

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