SNP’s Frank Ross faces leadership challenge

Frank Ross
Frank Ross
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SNP group leader Frank Ross is set to face a challenge for his position from finance convener Alasdair Rankin when the party’s newly elected councillors meet for the first time this afternoon.

Sources say Cllr Rankin sent an email to SNP candidates shortly before polling stations closed last night, asking for support for his leadership bid.

Alasdair Rankin

Alasdair Rankin

One party insider said: “Alasdair circulated his email at the minutes to ten, asking people to back him to challenge Frank.”

Cllr Ross recently caused controversy with comments in the Evening News suggesting pro-Union parties only called themselves “Scottish” as a branding exercise to win votes.

And he also found himself in the headlines for forgetting to declare the purchase of a Highland hotel in his register of interests.

The SNP group is due to meet for its AGM once all the results are known and will elect people to the key positions. The other parties will also hold meetings of their new councillors to make their appointments.

Labour always knew it would need to find a new leader because previous chief Andrew Burns was standing down from the council. It was confirmed today that planning convener Ian Perry and education convener Cammy Day are both seeking the post.

And Tory group leader Cameron Rose could also face a challenge. Earlier this week retiring Tory councillor Dominic Heslop publicly called for Cllr Rose to be replaced, claiming he had failed to provide effective and constructive opposition.