Lord David Steel's daughter Catriona Bhatia ousted from council post

CATRIONA Bhatia, the daughter of Lord David Steel, has been removed from her role as education convener at Scottish Borders Council.

The Liberal Democrat councillor, who ran an unsuccessful general election campaign against Tory David Mundell, in Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale and Tweeddale, was forced to apologise to fellow members yesterday after criticising council policy in the Southern Reporter newspaper. She spoke out against the decision to scrap plans to extend nursery hours due to anticipated funding shortfalls.

A motion to remove her from her post was put to council by Conservative Gavin Logan and carried 21 votes to eight.

Ms Bhatia said afterwards: "Clearly' the whole thing was politically motivated. Giving the Tories a hard run for their money (in the general election] was not appreciated.

"I shall now enjoy spending more time with my four lovely children and husband."

Ms Bhatia does not intend to stand down as the councillor for Tweeddale West. However, one source said her combative approach to politics had made her unpopular. "She is very aggressive politically and over time has run out of friends," he said. "She is constantly politicking over things, even minor things."

Council leader David Parker said: "I think that for a whole variety of reasons, this article being the final one, members lost trust and confidence in her."