General secretary writes to members over Tory deal councillors
Scottish Labour’s general secretary Brian Roy has written to Labour members in North East Scotland to set out how the Aberdeen council group broke party rules when they tried to form a coalition with the Tories last year.
The issue has heated up in the last few days, as members on both sides of the argument try to win people round. But it’s clear where most of the membership is on the prospect of a coalition with the Tories - the petition opposing the deal has rapidly outpaced its rival despite being put up a day later.
That will hearten the executive. A source on the SEC tells us the number supporting the Aberdeen group has fallen every time the issue has been put to a vote.
In his email, Brian Roy said:
As you will be aware, there was a meeting of the Scottish Executive Committee (SEC) on Saturday 16 June where the substantive issue on the agenda was the consideration of a revised power-sharing agreement from the suspended Aberdeen Labour Group.
As a member in the North East, I wanted to take this opportunity to set out to you, the facts of the matter.
The nine Councillors of the Labour Group were initially suspended in May 2017, having broken Party rules by forming a power-sharing agreement with the Conservative Party and Independents without the prior approval of the SEC.
The Executive considered, and have further rejected, a new power-sharing coalition between Labour, the Conservative and Independent groups. The proposal did not gain the political approval of the SEC, as required in their guidance of May 2017 and in Party rules (Clause X, Chapter 13 and Appendix 6).
In rejecting the proposal, the SEC will now formally recommend that the nine suspended members of the Labour Group are referred to the National Constitutional Committee of the Labour Party.
That body will make a final determination on their memberships and potential exclusion from the Party.
As has been the case since the original suspension, the Councillors could still stand down from the administration, as required by Party rules, and the matter resolved in that way.
This is not a situation that any of us wanted, but you will also appreciate that our Party has democratic structures and rules, which we all must adhere to, and it is a matter of great regret that the Councillors chose to break those rules by entering into a coalition that had been rejected by the SEC.
I appreciate that this will not be a decision that everyone will agree with, but it is a decision that the SEC have been forced to make by the actions of the group.
Scottish General Secretary