Labour revolt spreads as councillors barred

A Labour descent into "civil war and bloodletting" will leave SNP MPs the only real opposition to the Tories at Westminster, Nicola Sturgeon has said.

Under Labour Party rules, any council group wanting to go into a coalition with another party has to get the approval of Labour's Scottish executive committee.

At around the same time as she warned the audience that a vote for the Tories was an "endorsement of the rape clause and hard Brexit", Aberdeen's new Lord Provost, Barney Crockett, a former Labour group leader on the council, was posing for photographs wearing his new gold chains of office.

She urged people not to think about who they voted for in the past, calling on them to instead consider "who you want to lead our country in the future, who will get the best deal for the whole of the United Kingdom from Brexit".

She stated: "Labour can not do any deal with another party if it would result in further austerity being imposed on local communities".

Underpinning the Tory successes is the continuing decline of the Labour Party.

Labour has suspended the membership of the nine councillors pending an investigation. "Suspension doesn't change fact that these councillors have used Labour votes to give Aberdeen a Tory council".

Lawrence Fitzpatrick, Labour group leader, said in a statement he would now look to form a minority administration.

Asked if they had undermined her and her position, she said: "No because I have been very clear that they don't act as Labour councillors when they are passing on Tory cuts in Aberdeen".

A majority who aren't served by either the Tories or the SNP.

These are extracts from the speech delivered by Kezia Dugdale, Scottish Labour leader, in Glasgow today.

She also cites Value-Added Tax exemptions for some public service bodies and introducing a food coupon scheme to encourage healthy eating as being among her main priorities. "As soon as the SNP finally come under pressure, she can't wait to help them out by propping them up in local government".

She said: "She [Kezia Dugdale] says she'll "discipline" members who even think about working with pro-UK colleagues like the Conservatives, despite Labour and Conservatives having formed the Aberdeen city administration for nearly all of her time as leader".

"She really is lost".

In North Lanarkshire, Labour has formed a minority administration without any formal deal with another party, while in South Lanarkshire embittered horse-trading that left some councillors from both Labour and the SNP threatening to sit as independents has culminated pro tem in an SNP minority administration. Corbyn said in March that he was "absolutely fine" with a poll, before stating, a day later, that he opposed one.

She insisted a majority of Scots are in favour of this, pointing to the decision to reject independence in 2014 and the vote to remain in the European Union previous year as opposition to Tory plans for a hard Brexit. Opinion polls suggest that the SNP could lose around seven of its 56 Westminster seats to the Tories in the June 8 general election. We realise Sturgeon's reluctance to follow his advice since a third of SNP voters don't support independence. "The Tories would be happy to see Labour win and vice versa". West Lothian and Clackmannanshire have also failed to agree administrations.

The local Greens have called for the election to be re-run.

  • Joanne Flowers