Calls for removal of Labour councillor at centre of ‘Salmond ban’ furore

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By Stefan Bienkowski

The SNP are calling for the removal of Labour Finance Convener at Aberdeen City Council Willie Young from his office, following an abandoned motion to ban the First Minister and his Scottish ministerial team from Aberdeen council buildings.

The calls come after an emergency vote of no confidence in Mr Young was put forward by the council’s SNP group on Wednesday.  The motion however was not debated after the Labour group chose to rule against it.

During the Full Council meeting, the Labour administration led by Lord Provost George Adam chose to defend the embattled Finance Convenor, following his vote against £7.5 million funding for Aberdeen and the threat to ban all Scottish Government ministers from council buildings.

A move described by the SNP as an “act of madness by an out-of-control administration.”

The authority instead chose to vote narrowly on the concept of reviewing the protocol for ministerial visits, following lively debate from the SNP asking for the minister to be brought in to line.

The conclusion of  Labour’s meeting then called for a “revised protocol for the organisation of ministerial visits”, as well as dialogue looking at creating a “positive working partnership” with Holyrood.

The concessions come after Leader of the Council Barney Crockett, claimed he hadn’t used the word ‘ban’, according to BBC Scotland.  Deputy Leader Marie Boulton, yesterday said that any talk of a government exclusion was no more than a “slip of the tongue”

The remarks by Mr Crockett will be seen as a blow to his under fire colleague who on Monday gave media interviews in which he very clearly urged the council to introduce a ban.

Commenting SNP Group Leader at Aberdeen City Council, Cllr Callum McCaig, said:

“In a dereliction of duty, Councillor Young voted against £7.5m funding for Aberdeen. He then turned Aberdeen into a laughing stock by putting forward plans to ban all Scottish Government ministers from council property. Councillor Young’s actions were an affront to democracy. He has brought this city into disrepute and his position as Finance Convenor is utterly untenable.

“Ruling against a motion of no confidence seeks only to insulate Councillor Young from a growing public clamour for him to be removed from office. I have been inundated with emails from angry residents sick of the way he is trying to run this city and his disgraceful behaviour at COSLA.”

Mr McCaig added: “Councillor Young has put his party before the best interests of the Council and his petty vendetta against the Scottish Government since his defeat in the Donside by-election is making a mockery of Aberdeen council. The city can longer afford to have Councillor Young continue as Finance Convenor.”