Labour councillors in West Lothian pull back from Tory coalition

West Lothian Council headquarters. Picture: Contributed

West Lothian Council headquarters. Picture: Contributed

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A second showdown between a Labour group of councillors and the party’s national executive looks to have been avoided after a formal coalition deal with the Conservatives in West Lothian was withdrawn.

Kezia Dugdale moved to suspend nine councillors in Aberdeen yesterday over a powersharing agreement with the Tories in the city after they ignored a party warning not to proceed with a deal.

Councilor Tom Kerr was reelected as provost of West Lothian, but an administration has yet to be agreed. Picture: Michael Gillen/JP

Councilor Tom Kerr was reelected as provost of West Lothian, but an administration has yet to be agreed. Picture: Michael Gillen/JP

A similar scenario appeared on the cards in West Lothian after the local Labour group applied to the executive to strike an agreement with the Conservatives - only to have the move rejected.

No decision on forming an administration was taken at a meeting of the full council this morning, but Conservative councillor Tom Kerr was reappointed as provost with support from all but one Labour member.

Lawrence Fitzpatrick, Labour group leader, said in a statement he would now look to form a minority administration.

“We’ve had a strong and secure minority Labour administration in West Lothian for the past five years.

“We will continue to work for a minority Labour administration in order to deliver our progressive manifesto for he people of West Lothian for the next five years.”

The SNP emerged as the biggest party on the council with 13 seats at the local authority elections earlier this month, with Labour on 12, the Tories seven and one independent.

Nationalists on the council have so far failed to strike a coalition deal of their own.

READ MORE: Tories ramp up pressure on Labour over Aberdeen fall-out

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