Scottish council elections: News in brief

Those snippets of news you may have missed

Those snippets of news you may have missed

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Penguin leaves Lib Dems in a flap

IF THERE was an early omen the Lib Dems were heading for humiliation in Edinburgh, it came when one of their candidates scored fewer votes than a rival calling himself “Professor Pongoo”.

Independent candidate Mike Ferrigan ran his campaign for the Pentland Hills ward in a penguin suit – and ended up with 5.6 per cent of first-preference votes, against Lib Dem candidate Stuart Bridges, who scored just 4.7 per cent.

Mr Ferrigan, who said he stood to raise awareness of social and environmental issues, visits local schools dressed up as a penguin. He said: “While I wanted to be a councillor, I will always remain Professor Pongoo in the eyes of my community.”

Jim Leishman scores for Labour

Jim Leishman, director of football at Dunfermline Athletic, has been elected a Labour councillor in Fife.

The former Pars manager and player was elected at the first stage of counting in the Dunfermline Central ward.

Mr Leishman was backed by Labour MP and former prime minister Gordon Brown and former First Minister Henry McLeish in his campaign, and was named Fife Labour’s “sports champion” to promote sport in the region.

He is well-known in Fife, having played for Dunfermline and Cowdenbeath before moving into management.

Tracking tram anger on spoiled papers

IT IS the issue that has dominated Edinburgh’s political landscape for five years, and it spilled over on to ballot papers.

Deposed council leader Jenny Dawe admitted she had spotted several anti-tram messages on rejected papers as they were examined by council officers.

According to Twitter reports, one of the spoilt ballot papers in Edinburgh had “Trams – enough said, eh?” scrawled across it.

The Lib Dems’ fragile coalition with the SNP was regularly threatened by the Nationalists’ opposition to the project. But Ms Dawe said: “Every party at some stage or another has voted for the trams. In five years time, I think people’s view of the trams will be very different.”