Edinburgh SNP-Labour coalition is ‘bad deal’ says MSP

Councillor Adam McVey of the SNP, left, and Councillor Cammy Day of Labour sign a coalition agreement at the City Chambers. Picture: Greg Macvean
Councillor Adam McVey of the SNP, left, and Councillor Cammy Day of Labour sign a coalition agreement at the City Chambers. Picture: Greg Macvean
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Edinburgh’s SNP-Labour coalition deal is under fire before the new administration has even been formally installed.

The agreement was signed yesterday ahead of a special council meeting next week to approve the appointment of committee conveners.

But Edinburgh Southern Labour MSP Daniel Johnson labelled it “a bad deal for Labour and the people who voted for us”.

He said he had advised council colleagues not to do a deal with the SNP.

And he added: “The proposed coalition does not have a majority and will be left at the mercy of other parties and will be responsible for passing on SNP government cuts.

“I have fundamental issues with the SNP on their management of the budget and in key areas such as education. In so far as this council administration is complicit in carrying out these policies, I will not be afraid to be critical of it.”

Edinburgh Southern Labour party agreed a motion critical of the deal and seeking to mandate the area’s councillors to reject it unless it could guarantee no more cuts. An activist tweeted that Edinburgh Central had agreed by just one vote - 12:11 - to back the coalition.

The agreement was signed by SNP group leader Adam McVey and Labour group leader Cammy Day at the 
City Chambers yesterday after the deal got the final go-ahead from Labour’s Scottish 
executive committee on Thursday.

Edinburgh was the last of Scotland’s 32 councils to form an administration, six weeks after the local elections.

Cllr McVey, who at 30 will be the city’s youngest ever council leader, said: “I am pleased we have been able to reach this agreement, which will provide stable leadership for the council. This administration will implement a progressive policy agenda.”

Cllr Day said Labour and the SNP offered the strong partnership needed to lead the council.

He acknowledged there were different views within the party. “We have had robust discussions among members of the group and with the wider party. And the group made a decision by majority to move forward with this deal.

“I accept we need to bring the Labour group, the constituency parties and parliamentarians together and I will play my role in doing that.”