MYSTERY today surrounded the shock expulsion of a leading Tory councillor from the Conservative Group on Aberdeen City Council.
Alan Donnelly, who has been a Tory councillor in the city for 22 years, was thrown out of the group at a meeting with group leaders at the weekend.
Councillor Donnelly, who represents the Torry and Ferryhill areas, will now serve and an Independent Councillor but will remain part of the council’s ruling rainbow coalition administration of Labour, Conservative and Independent councillors.
His expulsion leaves the Tory Group on the council with only two members, group leader Fraser Forsyth and his depute Ross Thomson.
Councillor Donnelly, the city’s longest serving Conservative Councillor, said today: “I am no longer part of the Conservative Group but I am still in the administration and still in the Conservative Party.”
Asked if it was acrimonious parting of ways, he said: “I am not going to go into details because I have to work with them now in the administration.”
Councillor Donnelly said he would be serving as an Independent on the council but would not be joining the three strong Independent Alliance Group led by Councillor Marie Boulton, who is also depute leader of the administration.
A Conservative Party spokesman confirmed that Councillor Donnelly had been expelled from the Tory Group following a meeting on Sunday with Councillors Forsyth and Thomson.
He said: “We respect the decision of the local Conservative group on Aberdeen city council in relation to Councillor Alan Donnelly.”
Councillor Forsyth declined to comment on the reasons for Councillor Donnelly’s expulsion. But a Tory source told The Scotsman: “There were a number of internal differences - I wouldn’t describe them as political - between the way they do things. It was no more than that. They have decided the best thing to do is to go their separate ways.”
Councillor Donnelly is convener of the council’s petitions committee and also sits on the Audit and Risk; Finance, Policy and Resources; and the Social Care, Wellbeing and Safety committees of the council.