Labour set to form minority administration

Wednesday May 10th 2017

Midlothian Council Fairfield House Main

Last week in the local elections 7 Labour councillors were elected, 6 SNP and 5 Conservative. Given that no party has an overall majority of 10 councillors, all parties have until the first full council meeting on Tuesday 23rd May to negotiate some form of administration.

It now looks like Midlothian Labour, as the largest party, will form a minority administration.

Midlothian Labour Councillors say they are extremely disappointed at the failure of their SNP and Conservative Councillors to set aside national political differences and work together in the interests of the people that elected them.

Prior to entering into cross party discussions, both the SNP and Conservative groups made it clear that they would have no interest in participating in any kind of formal coalition that involved the other Party.

In an effort to resolve this impasse and get all groups to work together, Labour indicated it would move to form a minority Labour administration, but would offer, with no preconditions or formal agreements, senior posts and membership of all committees to each of the other two parties.

This would ensure that the views of the SNP and Conservative Councillors, and through them the substantial number of people who voted for them, would be represented.

Midlothian Labour say they regret that they have heard from both the Conservative and SNP leadership that they would have no interest in accepting these positions, simply because the other party was involved.

Instead, Labour say, they both have rushed to the press with inaccurate versions of the conversations that took place, using these to attack the Labour Party to further their respective party’s national political objectives.

Labour Group leader, Derek Milligan said.

“It is clear that the priorities of the SNP and Tory Councillors elected differ massively from our own. We have said from day one that we will put Midlothian and its people first, ahead of national politics. To say that the other parties are behaving like children would be unfair to children.

“As the largest Party elected in Midlothian it falls to us to attempt to form an administration built around the Councillors who are prepared to work for the benefit of the people of our County. At the moment that will consist solely of Labour Party Councillors. However if Councillors from the other parties decide to start acting like grownups, my door is always open”

Kelly Parry, SNP council group leader in Midlothian said:

“Labour have outright refused to discuss any deal with the SNP alone, yet leave the door open for the Tories.”

“Handing power to the Tories is a slap in the face to the people of Midlothian, a community that was left decimated by the Tories and ruined for generations.”

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