Fife Council: Minority administration accused of ‘democratic fraud’ in sharp words with SNP

Fife Council’s new minority Labour administration faced accusations of “democratic fraud” amid sharp exchanges between councillors during a meeting yesterday.

Friday, 10th June 2022, 11:32 am

The SNP was also rapped for a “thirty pieces of silver” jibe posted in the online chat only visible to councillors.

The fall out came as a meeting of the full council made a host of appointments to lead committees and sit on external organisations.

The SNP - the single biggest party at Fife House with 34 votes - found itself frozen out as Labour’s 20 councillors were backed by the Lib Dems and Tories.

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Fife House, HQ of Fife Council

The sparks started when Councillor David Dempsey, Tory group leader, was appointed as convener of the standards, audit and risk committee.

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Councillor David Alexander, SNP leader proposed John Beare but he lost 40-34 in a vote.

Mr Alexander took the unusual step of speaking to his nomination.

He hit out: “The administration should not be voting for chair of standards and audit. This ha always been an opposition role, and the only opposition group is the SNP so it should go to our nomination.”

“If it is filled with minority voting with Lib Dem it totally ex[poses and reinforces the democratic fraud going on within Fife Council.”

That brought an immediate rebuke from Labour councillor, Altany Craik, who said: “You can’t have use this language., You know better than that.”

The minority administration went on to fill the posts of convener on two area committees - Cowdenbeath and Levenmouth - which had ended in deadlock at their first local meetings.

But the sharp exchanges continued with Cllr Craik hitting out at a “30 pieces of silver” comment posted by an un-named councillor in the online chat.

He said it was “inappropriate” adding: “This is about standards and they are going through the floor.”