SNP councillor hits out at North Lanarkshire 'Unionist power grab'
A councillor in North Lanarkshire has criticised what he called a “Unionist power grab” after control of the local authority passed from SNP to Labour.
The SNP lost control of the council on Thursday just weeks after the resignation of council leader Jordan Linden amid allegations of sexual harassment.
SNP councillor Paul Di Mascio tweeted that he was “appalled and outraged” by the defection from SNP to Labour of Councillor Michael Coyle.
He said: “I am appalled and outraged by fellow Airdrie South ward Councillor Coyle’s actions yesterday in defecting from SNP to Labour minutes before a crucial council meeting, then working and voting alongside the British Unionist Party and Tories to remove the freshly elected SNP leadership of North Lanarkshire after five years of Labour-Tory chaos and decades of Labour mismanagement of public funds.”
The SNP had sought to replace Linden with Tracey Carragher at the meeting, with Alan Masterton to take her position as depute leader.
The Labour group confirmed it would launch a challenge to the leadership last week.
It won by just one vote, securing the backing of 38 councillors to 37.
Following the meeting, new council leader Jim Logue: "While I did not anticipate being in this position, it is clear that there is much to do quickly.
“I am determined to lead an administration which serves all the people of North Lanarkshire, and the most important part of that at this point is ensuring we are doing everything we can to mitigate the cost of living crisis for our residents.”