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The National (Scotland)
The National (Scotland)
Local Democracy Reporter

Row after councillor switches to Labour and helps to bring down SNP administration

North Lanarkshire has been reclaimed by Labour

AN SNP councillor has called on a former colleague to resign after he voted to bring down his own party’s North Lanarkshire Council administration.

On Thursday, Labour retook control of the council just three months after losing it to the SNP in May’s elections, with help from the British Unionist Party.

But just before the emergency meeting to decide the leadership following the resignation of former leader Councillor Jordan Linden (below), Councillor Michael Coyle switched his support to Labour.

The SNP group subsequently lost control of the council by 38 votes to 37, with Labour’s Jim Logue and Paul Kelly being appointed leader and depute leader instead.

Councillor Paul Di Mascio commented on Councillor Coyle’s actions, saying: “I am appalled and outraged by fellow Airdrie South councillor Coyle’s actions 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 in North Lanarkshire after five years of Labour-Tory chaos and decades of Labour mismanagement of public funds.

“I will continue to work for the people of Airdrie South who overwhelmingly voted for SNP representation in North Lanarkshire Council. Councillor Coyle has done the people of Airdrie South ward and North Lanarkshire a complete disservice and must resign his position immediately.  

"Councillor Coyle was not elected as a Labour councillor and if he wishes to represent Labour whilst working alongside the BUP and Tories in North Lanarkshire he should run in a by-election as a Labour candidate.”

Councillor Coyle has been approached for comment.

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