Why is Labour propping up SNP in Edinburgh? – John McLellan

SNP MSP James Dornan has still not had the guts to apologise publicly to Lothian Buses three weeks after his baseless accusation of anti-Irish Catholic bias against senior management.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 4:45 pm
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar is failing to make headway, says John McLellan (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/pool/AFP via Getty Images)
Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar is failing to make headway, says John McLellan (Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/pool/AFP via Getty Images)

First, he hid behind parliamentary privilege to make the claim and it now appears he was under the misapprehension that a private half-apology to Edinburgh transport convener Lesley Macinnes would be the end of the matter.

So too did the SNP Labour administration think it was dealt with, and they tried to alter a motion I brought to the council last week, by removing the reference to parliamentary privilege and the call for a full public apology.

If not particularly honourable, it’s understandable the local SNP would try to avoid forcing one of their own to make a public retraction, but what did the Labour leadership hope to gain from letting Dornan off the hook?

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For some time Labour members have pressed the council group to end the coalition, and a new controlling committee being formed this month will determine how the party goes into next year’s elections.

With neither UK nor Scottish leaders Keir Starmer and Anas Sarwar making any headway and the council group offering no alternative to the SNP, as it stands Edinburgh voters can legitimately wonder what they offer other than keeping the SNP in control and second place in every council announcement?

There is now less than a year to work it out, and with more veterans set to stand down, that new committee has its work cut out.

John McLellan is a Conservative councillor for Craigentinny/Duddingston

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