Kezia Dugdale denies her leadership is in crisis over partys civil war

first_imgShe added: “Labour votes in Aberdeen yesterday were used to put the Tories into administration and I think that should say something to everybody who might be considering voting Labour in the future – that if you vote Labour, you often don’t get Labour, you get the Tories and that is the reality.”Perhaps Kezia Dugdale will want to take the opportunity of just making it clear that the suspensions of the Aberdeen councillors yesterday won’t miraculously be waved away after June 8.”Ms Dugdale confirmed later that coalition deals with the SNP had been approved in Fife, Scotland’s third biggest local authority, and rejected in Edinburgh, where she expected the proposal to be resubmitted.Despite being engulfed in the crisis just three weeks from the general election, she insisted that her leadership had not been undermined. aberdeen The SEC has a veto over coalition agreements and will only approve those with an anti-austerity agenda. Earlier in the week Perth and Kinross’s only Labour councillor quit the new Tory-led coalition as a result.Meanwhile, the Conservatives challenged Labour general election candidates in Aberdeen to say whether they agree with Ms Dugdale’s decision to suspend the group.The Tories said that over the last five years the previous Labour-Conservative-Independent administration had delivered the £250million Aberdeen City Region Deal, £300m exhibition and conference centre, a £22m bridge over the River Don and raised £370million for local infrastructure investment. kezia dugdale Labour hierarchy is at war with councillors in AberdeenCredit:Getty Asked if the actions of the Aberdeen group had undermined her and the party, she said: “No, because I’ve been very clear that they don’t act as Labour councillors when they’re passing on Tory cuts in Aberdeen.”The row between the party hierarchy and the Aberdeen nine is all the more remarkable as Labour and the Tories have been involved in coalition in the city for several years.center_img Barney Crockett, one of the suspended councillors who was appointed Lord Provost as part of the coalition deal on Wednesday, told BBC Radio Scotland the council had been run by a Labour-Conservative coalition since 2012, which had “done very well for the city”.He also said he was confident of showing that the deal would “certainly not” lead to more austerity, and said he was sure that would be accepted by the national party.He added: “I think that we’ll work through it and I’m confident we will be back in Labour very soon.”We are still Labour councillors through and through and I am sure everything is going to be rectified and we will be in good order very soon.”Ms Dugdale insisted coalitions with the Tories and the SNP were being treated the same way, would each be considered on their own merits and would be rejected if they threatened to pass on austerity or failed to guard against compulsory redundancies.She claimed Labour was only in the position of discussing coalitions because the Tories and the SNP had previously ruled out going into coalition together in a “petty political manoeuvre”. Kezia Dugdale at First Minister’s QuestionsCredit:PA Kezia Dugdale has been forced to deny her leadership is in crisis after Nicola Sturgeon claimed Scottish Labour was in “meltdown” as civil war erupted between its leadership and its councillors.The First Minister taunted the Labour leader after party chiefs suspended nine councillors who struck a deal with the Conservatives to form a coalition in Aberdeen and lock the SNP out of power.Labour’s ruling Scottish executive committee had earlier rejected the terms of the deal and when the party’s group on Aberdeen City Council went ahead regardless and were all suspended.It also emerged yesterday that officials have banned a second council group in West Lothian from doing a deal with the Tories.In noisy exchanges at Holyrood, Ms Sturgeon said Labour was “in disarray, in civil war and in meltdown”. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img

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