Labour hit back at ‘incompetent’ SNP

Midlothian Council Building, Dalkeith
Midlothian Council Building, Dalkeith

Labour has accused the SNP-led administration of incompetence after confusion reigned as councillors voted on a motion about Brexit.

The vote on the motion to note the EU referendum result, amended to welcome Nicola Sturgeon’s efforts to keep Scotland in the EU, was reported in last week’s Advertiser. Now a senior council legal officer has confirmed Labour’s claims that the SNP administration and green councillor mistakenly voted down their own amendment.

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 independence 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, Councillor 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 Nicola 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.”

Labour also claims this is not the first time that they have been successful in challenging votes put through by the SNP administration.

A spokesperson for the SNP Council Group said: “This is desperate spin from the Midlothian Labour Group. If this was the case they would have voted on the original motion, the debate was very clear.

“This is a clear case of the Midlothian Labour group trying to back pedal from their original stance which left them bizarrely on message with UKIP and the Tories. That can’t have gone down well or unnoticed with their members or their Holyrood colleagues who have taken an entirely opposite view.”