Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Second Labour council group barred from Tory coalition deal


A Scottish Labour spokesman told the Evening Express: "Labour's approach has been clear and consistent: we can not do any deal with another party if it would result in further austerity being imposed on local communities".

However, Scottish Labour councillors in Aberdeen today (Wednesday 17 May) backed a leadership agreement which allows a Tory led coalition to take control of the council.

A similar scenario appeared on the cards in West Lothian after the local Labour group applied to the executive to strike an agreement with the Conservatives - only to have the move rejected.

Highlighting the tensions between the central and local parties a Scottish Labour spokesman said: "Labour's approach has been clear and consistent: we can not do any deal with another party if it would result in further austerity being imposed on local communities".

However, the city's new provost, Barney Crockett, told Good Morning Scotland he was confident of being reinstated to Scottish Labour "very soon".

The move emerged after Labour councillors in Aberdeen were suspended from the party for going ahead with a plan to work with the Tories.

Ross Thomson, the Tory candidate for Aberdeen South in the General Election, said: "Labour has been plunged into civil war after Kezia Dugdale's reckless decision to suspend all nine councillors in Aberdeen".

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The Aberdeen councillors ignored her order barring them from forming an administration to run the city with the Conservatives.

Under the coalition, the city's Labour group will team up with 11 Tory councillors and the Independent Alliance group, made up of three councillors, to form an administration and lock the SNP's 19-member group out of power.

"This proposed coalition would still have fallen short of a working majority on Aberdeen City Council".

Mr Rowley said: "The rules of the party are quite clear, they state that Labour groups must not enter into any arrangements with other parties to determine political control and management of a local authority which do not comply with the Scottish Executive's approved options".

"Labour councillors in Aberdeen will stand up for the local community by fighting against Tory attempts to drive down living standards and will not be distracted by campaigning for a divisive second independence referendum".

At First Minister's Questions, SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon said Labour was in "meltdown".

"Suspension doesn't change fact that these councillors have used Labour votes to give Aberdeen a Tory council".

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