Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Medicine | By Megan Pierce

Kezia Dugdale: General Election could determine if United Kingdom continues to exist

Kezia Dugdale: General Election could determine if United Kingdom continues to exist

COUNCIL was left in the control of a Tory-independent coalition last night (Wednesday 17 May) after Kezia Dugdale, the leader of Scottish Labour, suspended an entire council group in the city after it defied her and entered a coalition with the Scottish Tories.

Scottish Labour then contacted each councillor individually telling them that they had been suspended. Labour, under Jeremy Corbyn, has been unable to take a clear position.

However, Ms Dugdale said there was "categorically no deal with the Tories in North Lanarkshire".

She stated: "Labour can not do any deal with another party if it would result in further austerity being imposed on local communities". "Tory MPs will be a rubber-stamp for Theresa May, Labour's not fit to be in opposition". "Suspension doesn't change fact that these councillors have used Labour votes to give Aberdeen a Tory council".

The SNP has lost its overall majority in Dundee, although it remains the largest party there with 14 councillors.

"I think that's the responsible thing to do, it's the Tories and the SNP that have ruled out even talking to each other at a much earlier stage and that's driven entirely by their obsession with their constitution".

The result has left several important councils, including the capital city of Edinburgh, lacking administrations, and strewn a trail of resignations, intra-party power spats and inter-party bitterness in its wake.

In its first post-election meeting Renfrewshire Council, which confirmed an SNP minority administration, voted to reapply for membership of Cosla, following Glasgow's lead a week ago and leaving only Aberdeen and South Lanarkshire as the surviving members of the Scottish Local Government Partnership. In Dundee, run by the SNP until last week, some £16 million will be cut from the budgets for vital services following £23 million a year ago.

She also cites Value-Added Tax exemptions for some public service bodies and introducing a food coupon scheme to encourage healthy eating as being among her main priorities.

"People across Aberdeen and the rest of Scotland now know where Labour's priorities lie - they put jumping into bed with the Tories ahead of any principle".

Mrs May was speaking at the launch of the Scottish Conservatives' manifesto, which came a day after she unveiled the party's General Election blueprint for the United Kingdom as a whole. "This is absolutely shameful behaviour from Labour", McCaig said.

In a statement, the council said they had been put forward in a "spirit of collaboration and co-operation to provide the best service possible for the people of Fife".

The Tories are hopeful of gains in the 8 June election, having made significant progress in May's local elections.

Ms Dugdale will say: "In the face of some of the greatest challenges our country has ever faced, the choice at this election is being presented as one between a Scottish National Party with no programme to speak of and an emboldened Tory Party that is pushing a hard Brexit at all costs".

An attempt to form a coalition with the four LibDem councillors proved fruitless. "The Tories would be happy to see Labour win and vice versa".

New administrations are still to be agreed at a number of councils including West Lothian and Edinburgh.

The local Greens have called for the election to be re-run.

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