I have an idea about who is leaking Edinburgh council’s secrets – Steve Cardownie

The leaking of council proposals to make spending cuts in Edinburgh should lead to action by the Standards Commission if the culprit is found, writes Steve Cardownie.

Wednesday, 29th January 2020, 6:00 am
Leaks make SNP finance convener Alasdair Rankine's job even more difficult (Picture: Neil Hanna)

Budget proposals are leaked for one reason only and that is an attempt to provoke a public/political backlash so that the offending cut will be dropped. These leaks happen with monotonous regularity at this time of year and can be extremely damaging.

The Budget will not be determined until next month but SNP councillor Alasdair Rankine, the finance convener, has once more been forced to issue statements deprecating this practice, which contravenes the councillors’ code of conduct.

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What’s more disconcerting this time is that it would appear that leaks have been emanating from within the coalition itself. With an SNP councillor holding the finance convener position, it would surely be inconceivable that members of his own group would choose to undermine him – which leaves the finger of suspicion pointing firmly in the direction of the Labour group.

Councillors who leak such documents do so on the basis that their anonymity is assured, leaving them to operate in such a cavalier manner, but I trust that if, in the unlikely event that the culprit is identified, a report requesting that action be taken against them will wing its way to the Standards Commission.