Leader claims no deals done as Tories help Labour beat SNP for control of the council

Protestors unveil a 'Red Tories Out!' banner as the official North Lanarkshire Council photograph is taken, which the SNP refused to attend

Protestors unveil a 'Red Tories Out!' banner as the official North Lanarkshire Council photograph is taken, which the SNP refused to attend

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Labour won support from the Conservatives to lead a minority administration at North Lanarkshire Council.

However, council leader Jim Logue, who was also backed by independent Alan Beveridge, is adamant no coalition or deal has been agreed between the two parties.

All Labour nominations were passed by 41 votes to 33 over the SNP’s, as Paul Kelly was reappointed as Councillor Logue’s depute, Jean Jones became provost and Tom Castles her depute.

Councillor Logue said: “I have not entered into any coaltion or made deals, formal or loose, with any other party in North Lanarkshire.

“I have never asked the Conservatives for support, but I realise there are those who will never acknowledge or accept it for political reasons. They will use the expression ‘Red Tories’, but I have nothing in common with the Conservatives for some of the outrageous policies they have introduced.

“However, the Conservative group are absolutely entitled to express their view and I just don’t think they wanted anything to do with the SNP.

“We don’t know how they will vote in the future, I don’t know what policies they are passionate about because I’ve never had a discussion with them, but I’d hope when it comes to growth they’d be the first to support that.

“The only thing people in North Lanarkshire care about is quality services and they will see a big difference over the next five years because I’m leading a team who are focused on delivering that.”

Conservative group leader Meghan Gallacher says her members wanted to participate in the meeting, but warned they may not always back Labour.

She said: “Had we abstained the vote would have been tied and cutting cards doesn’t seem the right thing for democracy, as we felt the SNP group are dysfunctional we backed Labour this time.

“We look forward to some good debates in the coming years and there will be times we agree and times we disagree with Labour, there may even be times we agree with the SNP, it will just depend on the topic being discussed.”

The SNP refused to take up convenerships of the Community Safety and Partnership Governance committee and the Cumbernauld and Kilsyth Local Area Partnership offered to them.

Opposition leader David Stocks said: “We want no part of an administration that is a Tory/Labour stitch-up.”

The SNP members also refused to join the traditional photograph of the new council as protestors unfurled a giant ‘Red Tories Out!’ banner.