Party politics abandoned at council – updated at 3.30pm

Liberal Democrat, Conservative and SNP councillors have walked away from their parties to join a new group which has taken control of Argyll and Bute Council.

After weeks of unprecedented confusion and speculation Roddy McCuish has been re-elected as leader of the authority by the narrowest possible margin of 18-17 at a meeting in Lochgilphead today.

Roddy McCuish
Roddy McCuish

Cllr McCuish, then of the SNP group, became council leader after last year’s elections but resigned earlier this year to be replaced by James Robb, who then resigned in May.

Independent councillor Dick Walsh, who last week looked set to regain power,  may now remain leader of the opposition, although it was his colleague Duncan MacIntyre who stood unsuccessfully for the leadership today.

Councillors George Freeman, Robert G Macintyre, Maurice Corry, Ellen and Aileen Morton, David Kinniburgh and Gary Mulvaney will all form part of the new ruling group, meaning Helensburgh and Lomond will be strongly represented.

But the move is bound to leave the public confused after several of these councillors stood for election under party political banners.

Update: The council has confirmed Cllr McCuish’s appointment as leader, in a brief statement which made no reference to any political parties or groupings.

Cllr McCuish said: “I am delighted to have been voted in as council leader and very much welcome the support from colleagues from different groups within the council.

“It’s very important that we pull together for the good of the people who live and work in Argyll and Bute, and I look forward to working with my fellow councillors to achieve this.”

5 Comments

    • Yes, looks like it. Some confusion is quite understandable! This isn’t the first time A&B councillors have left their parties – two Tories from other parts of the council area have become Independent after election – but even so it’s quite hard to credit.

  1. Hate to say it, but if people were elected under a party banner, and have now left those parties, a new election should be held. I mean, if I voted for a person because they were of one party whose party line I believed in, and they then defected to, say, the complete opposition party, I’m not sure I’d be too happy that this person was now my representative of my views. Imagine, for the sake of it, being a Socialist Party voter, and finding your guy defects to UKIP or the Conservatives… (or visa versa)!!
    That said; if councillors can leave party politics out of it all, perhaps they can pull together for the people, and not waste time in-fighting.

  2. I agree. All the councillors should resign ( if they stood as a party candidate0 and , if they want , stand for re-election as independents.

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