SNP lose control of North Lanarkshire Council over a gay sex scandal – but the previous Labour Council covered up a child pornography scandal involving a Labour councillor

SNP Council loses overall control

The party was thrown out of power in North Lanarkshire after just 84 days in an emergency meeting triggered by the former leader resigning over a sexual misconduct scandal. Full story here:

North Lanarkshire Labour Party leaders covered up a child porn scandal to protect their control of the Council

Labour boss Jim Logue and his deputy Paul Kelly are the subject of a no confidence motion promoted by one of their former party colleagues, Councillor Sam Love. It was recently revealed how David Fagan, a councillor in Airdrie, was arrested over alleged child images on September 7, but not suspended by Labour until September 29. At the time of the arrest, Labour was fighting a bitter by-election in neighbouring Coatbridge.

The council chief executive learned of the arrest and “broad nature” of the alleged offences on September 8, then told Mr Logue, who in turn told Mr Kelly. However most Labour councillors were not informed for another three weeks, when Mr Fagan was suspended by Labour HQ, fuelling speculation that the matter was kept quiet until after Labour had won the by-election in Coatbridge North on September 22.

The ward fight was a high-profile one for Labour, with Jeremy Corbyn appearing with the candidate and Scottish leader Kezia Dugdale boasting about the win in her UK conference speech as evidence of Labour’s ability to defeat the SNP. Labour beat the SNP by fewer than 200 votes – a margin that would have been wiped out by bad publicity over Mr Fagan if his arrest been widely known, opposition parties claim.

Cllr Love, a former housing convener who resigned from the Labour group in March, is now asking other councillors to sign a no confidence motion in Mr Logue and Mr Kelly. It calls for their “immediate resignation… for a wilful breach of trust and for failing to act in the best interests” of the council, and claims they “withheld information” given to them by the chief executive “regarding charges brought against a North Lanarkshire councillor”. It goes on: “It is entirely wrong that a serious disciplinary decision appears to have been delayed in an attempt to gain political advantage. As elected representatives we have a duty to be open and transparent. We therefore request that an emergency council meeting is called immediately and [Cllrs Logue and Kelly] should resign from their council positions forthwith.”

The council Labour group is due to discuss the situation next Monday. A Labour source said: “Monday is going to be a big day for the group. It’s going to be volatile. None of us came into public service for this kind of nonsense.” In a leaked statement, Cllr Kelly told other Labour councillors that Cllr Love’s motion was “pathetic” and “disgraceful”, and urged them not to respond. He said the statute under which Cllr Fagan was charged was not known until September 29, adding: “Even now, we are still not aware of the precise allegations against him. When we were informed that he had been charged – but not what he had been charged with – on September 8, both myself and the Council Leader sought assurances from the Chief Executive that he had taken all necessary measures. We were assured that this was the case. “David Fagan is subject to live legal proceedings.

It is pathetic that some would seek political opportunity when those proceedings are ongoing. It is disgraceful that those same people would suggest that either the council leader or myself would seek political advantage in the actions we have taken.” A Crown Office spokesman said: “The Procurator Fiscal has received a report concerning a 52 year old male in connection with alleged incidents said to have occurred between 25 and 30 June 2016. The report remains under consideration.” The council declined to comment. Full details here: