Another resignation from Argyll & Bute SNP Councillors group

It’s only days since Iain Angus Macdonald resigned from the SNP and from his position as a Councillor for Oban North and Lorn to which he was elected as an independent in the Local Authority elections of May 2012.

Today, 15th March 2016, another SNP Councillor – and another Iain, Iain Stewart MacLean, has resigned from the SNP but not from the council, intending to stay on as an independent.

Both were apparently facing party group disciplinary proceedings in connection with their attendance records.

The SNP group has issued a statement calling on Mr MacLean to resign from the council as well and test his position at the ballot box in a by-election. This is clearly a less-than-veiled retributive action, effectively threatening to throw the uber-dominant SNP attack dogs at him in such a campaign.

It is interesting to note that, when Iain Angus Macdonald joined the SNP during his tenure as the independent councillor as which he had been elected, the same electoral proprieties did not appear to trouble the SNP group of councillors. Both they and Mr Macdonald resolutely resisted calls from others at that point that, in honour, he should resign and stand again.

If Mr MacLean does stand down as a councillor, this would see a double by-election in Oban North and Lorn, which would certainly make local politics quite exciting.

The situation is not one from which the SNP emerge with shiny fur.

Iain Stewart MacLean has been a councillor for a scant eighteen months. He was elected in October 2014 as an SNP Councilor after having been defeated by Labour’s Neil MacIntyre six months earlier in the Oban South and the Isles by-election of May 2014. In that campaign he had been disgracefully treated by the local Oban party – who selected him in a process contested by another strong local SNP candidate – and then left him to swing in the wind.

Infamously, at a hustings on Mull in that campaign, not a single local SNP official, never mind the usual posse, accompanied Mr MacLean who, as one man with no dog, was left to beg a lift with competing candidates and stand, with no support, to face the barrage of assaults on what [and this seems like pre-history now] was then an internally riven and shambolic local branch.

The SNP hierarchy has long been in despair at the limply mediocre performance of the formal group of SNP councillors at Argyll and Bute – a small rump of eight, after these two resignations and after the party’s music-hall and far from spontaneous combustion before indyef 1.

A few months ago the party was starting to conduct manoeuvres to see this group fall apart and be replaced by an ‘official’ SNP group which would have contained some of the councillors who departed the SNP in that combustive episode.

That move has been abandoned – but one has to wonder whether the coincidence of two current SNP councillors resigning from the party within days of each other is a signal as much of a deeper covert move against the hapless ones as it is of individual discomfort with the party?

Note: The eight remaining councillors who formally¬† represent the SNP [some others are now non-designated ‘sleepers’ at Kilmory] ae:

  • John Armour [South Kintyre]
  • Gordon Blair [Cowal]
  • Ann Horn [Kintyre and the Isles]
  • Julie McKenzie [as pf 18th February 2016]
  • James Robb [Helensburgh Central]
  • Isobel Strong [Bute]
  • Sandy Taylor [Mid Argyl – Group Leader]
  • Richard Trail [Helensburgh South and Lomond]
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Related Articles & Comments

  • ‘Iain Stewart MacLean’ Never heard of him. But what is telling is ‘For Argyll’ ie Newsie claiming that he and another were ‘facing party group disciplinary proceedings in connection with their attendance records”.

    Meanwhile the Furnace fattie claims “This is clearly a less-than-veiled retributive action, “.

    Utter keech! The guy stood as an SNP candidate – decided he couldn’t be bothered but still wanted to pick up the ‘money’. And Newsie defends this ??????

    Total utter kach! The Furnace fraud strikles again.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 22

    Simon March 15, 2016 6:57 pm Reply
  • SNP baad, that’s what it is, SNP baad, very very baad. The Newsroom tells it as it is.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 19

    willie March 15, 2016 7:39 pm Reply
  • The SNP are Bad,very bad.I have no other comment to make.
    Eh,just one.Anyone know if there’s any cake shops open at this time of night?

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 3 Thumb down 14

    Jackie Bayleaf March 15, 2016 7:42 pm Reply
  • I understand that the 2 so called councillors refused to attend SNP meetings with fellow councillors or communicate. They then refused to answer any questions as to their behaviour. They jumped before being disciplined. They were happy to use the SNP name to get elected then fly the roost even quicker. I suppose Breslin and McCuish led the way. If MacLean is so confidently he can resign and have a By election. Not to do so is the act of a coward.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 8 Thumb down 12

    No Cheese Here March 15, 2016 9:29 pm Reply
    • Only small point NCH .
      Iain Angus was elected as an independent.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

      Tom Hayward March 16, 2016 7:01 am Reply
  • I think that when you elect a Councilor, you elect the person and not any party political baggage that might be attached.

    So if the councilor does not resign – no need for a by-election.

    How much does a by-election cost? Does anybody know? I bet it is not cheap and once the money is spent on the election it cannot be used.

    Does the cost come from the Council, the SG or London?

    These are not trick questions.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 10 Thumb down 5

    JimB March 15, 2016 10:09 pm Reply
    • The cost is to the public purse.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 3

      newsroom March 15, 2016 11:03 pm Reply
    • The electorate also vote for a party to represent them based on the policies put forward. After all why would a candidate go through the selection process? This applies to all parties. For an independent they are the “will-o’-the-wisp” of politics. They suit themselves in the main for their own benefit. What wee committee can I get on for responsibility payment etc or they sit out their term of office. The public should have the right to turf them out once they jump ship, now -should they wish

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 9

      No Cheese Here March 16, 2016 10:37 am Reply
  • ¬£10,000 or so for byelection I believe, but it also takes up significant amounts of time for Council staff who should be providing support to existing Councillors.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 12 Thumb down 8

    Kieron Green March 16, 2016 12:54 am Reply
    • Talking of waste of money. How much did labours illegal war cost?

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

      A Salmon March 16, 2016 8:17 am Reply
  • It’s remarkable how short some memories are. I did NOT resign from the SNP; I was thrown out because I had no option but to resign from the then administration. All the rest were resignations of one type or another from the SNP Group.

    When I resigned from the administration it was to ensure my support for my community, ie the people who elected me. Every councillor gets the advice pasted below in their induction pack. This is sound advice in my view and every councillor should refer to this:

    If you stood and were elected on a party ticket, it was the party who endorsed you as a candidate, but it was the community who elected you. Your primary duty and accountability is therefore to the local community.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 6

    Michael Breslin March 16, 2016 8:32 am Reply
    • You refused to accept party discipline which is important. Problem was the 2 pushing for your discipline were also doing deals with the tories in the background.
      You set up parties in direct opposition to the SNP but at the same time hoped Russell would get you back in (but without the annoyance and being part of the discipline)–to lead. After all the Council elections are only a year and a bit away. Suspect “Independent” Councillors around the land will be looking to see how best they can be reelected eg stand as an independent with a Labour badge, stand as an independent but really a tory. Musical chairs. Personally Members of any political party should be a member for at least 5 years

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

      No Cheese Here March 18, 2016 3:13 pm Reply
  • Thanks KG & Newsie.

    Can you elaborate further on the “Public Purse”? Local or national?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

    JimB March 16, 2016 8:55 am Reply
  • The former SNP Councillors who jumped ship such as McCuish, Devon had the benefit of party activists campaigning for them. A lot of party members in Oban in particular put a lot of time and effort into canvassing for their candidates. If you have sttod on a party ticket and then leave that party then the correct thing to do is stand down and put yourself back to the electorate.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    Bob Munn March 17, 2016 5:18 pm Reply
  • This is just another example of the double standards from the SNP Council Group. The lack of proper lists of Councillors attending meetings means no one can see who attended and when. A certain Helensburgh Councillor was absent for months and no action was taken against him. This is a witch hunt and Sandy Taylor well know it. This council and many on it are not fit for purpose

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 3

    ceartas March 18, 2016 9:50 am Reply

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