Former council leader ousted from Cabinet role

Some of the SNP councillors at the first full council meeting following their election victory in May 2012
Some of the SNP councillors at the first full council meeting following their election victory in May 2012

Former council leader Lisa Beattie has been ousted from the Cabinet following a re-shuffle by new leader Owen Thompson.

The announcement by the SNP administration was made at the full council meeting held today (December 17).

Councillor Beattie has been relieved of her position as Cabinet member for education and communities, a role she had carried on after resigning as council leader just five weeks into her post in June 2012.

In a complete role reversal of this week’s re-shuffle, Councillor Beattie had previously removed Councillor Thompson from the Cabinet when she became leader of the SNP-led council last year.

This was immediately after Councillor Thompson had led the party to their first ever council election win in Midlothian, albeit thanks to independent Councillor Peter De Vink forming a coalition with the SNP.

Speaking at today’s meeting, Labour group leader Derek Milligan questioned whether or not Councillor Beattie’s removal from the Cabinet had been a “sacking” and criticised the amount of changes made in the Cabinet since the SNP took power, adding “we need some stability.”

What are your views on the latest Cabinet re-shuffle? Let us know here.

In this latest re-shuffle Councillor Owen Thompson will remain leader of the council with Councillor Bob Constable as deputy leader. In addition, Councillor Jim Bryant, Councillor Catherine Johnstone and Councillor Derek Rosie will make up the rest of the Cabinet. As a result of Councillor Rosie’s appointment to Cabinet, the depute provost role will now be filled by Councillor Andrew Coventry.

Councillor Owen Thompson, leader of Midlothian Council, said: “Having taken on the role as leader of the council a couple of weeks ago and also reviewing our internal processes this was an appropriate time to review the positions within the group.

“These changes are a refresh to our cabinet, as is perfectly normal when a new leader takes over. I would thank all members of the group for the work they have done and continue to do.”

A list of Cabinet portfolios is listed below:

- Councillor Owen Thompson – Finance and Integrated Service Support with Customer and Housing Services

- Councillor Bob Constable – Education

- Councillor Catherine Johnstone – Children’s Services with Adult and Social Care

- Councillor Jim Bryant – Communities and Economy

- Councillor Derek Rosie – Commercial Services with Property and Facilities Management