Salmond hits out at Labour as Glenrothes by-election draws near

Former First Minister Alex Salmond has said the threat of library closures in the region is proof that the Labour-run Fife Council has “lost the plot” in recent months.

His comments came as the former Nationalist Party leader joined campaigners in Kinglassie earlier today, (Tuesday) ahead of Thursday’s crucial Glenrothes by-election.

Alex Salmond and Julie Ford in Kinglassie today on the campaign trail for the local by elections. Pic: Steve Brown

Alex Salmond and Julie Ford in Kinglassie today on the campaign trail for the local by elections. Pic: Steve Brown

He said the current Council administration had much explaining to do regarding the library proposals adding that he did not expect the recent election of Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader to have much impact locally or throughout Scotland.

“I’ve known and liked Jeremy Corbyn for over 30 years and he’s a nice guy but he’s unelectable, they have nothing left at local level or in Holyrood so I don’t think Jeremy will offer much protection,” said Mr Salmond.

“But we take nothing for granted, we’ve earned our position as the majority party in Scotland and we continue to work very hard to maintain that.”

Mr Salmond, now a Westminster MP, was there to offer his support to SNP candidate Julie Ford as supporters stepped up their campaign to hold on to the Glenrothes West and Kinglassie constituency recently vacated by long-standing SNP councillor Peter Grant following his victory in May’s general election.

For the second time in seven months Ward 14 residents are being asked to vote on a contest that has ramifications far the whole of the Glenrothes area.

The result could alter the balance of power once again on the influential area committee, the main decision-making body for the town, the tension surrounding Thursday’s by-election has been heightened following former SNP councillor Bill Brown’s public endorsement of the Labour candidate Alan Seath.

“The electorate will speak on Thursday but if I was the Labour candidate I wouldn’t be going near the library that the are trying to close, or the schools for that matter,” said Mr Salmond.

He added: “I think this ward needs an energetic councillor that’s why Julie is worth supporting, she has all the attributes to be a live-wire candidate for Glenrothes.”

Miss Ford said she responses on the doorsteps had been very positive adding that she would work tirelessly to work for the good of all of the community if elected.

Polls close at 10pm on Thursday with the result expected in the early hours of Friday morning.