Midlothian Labour hit back on EU motion

Tuesday July 19th 2016

Derek Milligan

A Senior Council Legal Officer has confirmed Midlothian Labour’s claims that the SNP administration and green councillor voted down their own amendment on the effects of the Brexit vote at last month’s council meeting.

At the meeting, Labour sought to have only the last sentence of the amendment removed as it was felt that it may be interpreted as support for the Scottish Government to call for a second indie referendum.

Instead of voting for their own amendment, the SNP group voted for the original motion which simply noted the result of the EU referendum.

Labour Group Leader, Derek Milligan said, “The Labour group were happy to accept the majority of the amendment which acknowledged Scotland’s support for remaining in the EU and supported people from other countries who live here, however we were not prepared to give Nichola Sturgeon a blank cheque for another Independence referendum. We were then astonished to see the SNP, Green and Independent Councillors all voting against their own amendment, showing yet again the complete incompetence of those who are supposed to be running this Council.”

This is not the first time that Labour have been successful in challenging votes forced through by the SNP administration. Last year a Labour move to introduce free swimming for Midlothian Children during the school holidays was voted down by the SNP. Labour challenged the handling of the vote by Provost Joe Wallace and the motion was deemed carried. The free swimming lessons have proven to be extremely popular across the County.

To explain this decision in more detail, the Provost sought a vote on the amendment which Labour proposed, this was defeated by 10 votes to 7. The Provost then asked for votes in favour of the motion which was approved by 10 votes to nil. Whilst it was likely it had been intended that this vote would relate to Andrew Coventry’s amendment, nevertheless the final vote was on “the motion” which in terms of Standing Order 8 would have been the one-line initial motion.

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