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Who will lead Moray Council? Crucial vote will decide who forms the new administration

On Wednesday, a vote will determine whether Tories or SNP lead the council.
On Wednesday, a vote will determine whether Tories or SNP lead the council.

A crucial vote on Wednesday will decide the make-up of the new Moray Council administration.

The in-person full council meeting will be a key milestone for the SNP and Conservatives as they battle to control the local authority.

The region’s two biggest political groups will put forward their proposals for convenor, leaders, and other roles.

Since the election, both parties have agreed their leadership teams and engaged in discussions with other parties and councillors.

The Moray Council administration will be decided on Wednesday

The Conservatives, who hold the largest number of seats, with 11, are led by new councillors Neil McLennan and Kathleen Robertson who work as co-leaders.

The joint leaders of the SNP, who have eight seats, are Graham Leadbitter and Shona Morrison.

There are 26 seats on the local authority, therefore any administration would need at least 14 members for a majority.

Parties vying for support

Other parties with seats on the council are Labour, with three, independents, with two and the Liberal Democrat and Greens who each have one.

In previous years, it has taken three weeks or a month to form an administration.

And it will be members from the smaller parties and the independents who may be crucial in deciding who leads the council.

Avoid deck of cards to decide leadership of Moray Council

Back in December, the leadership of Moray Council was decided by drawing cards.

Conservatives supported by two independents lodged a takeover bid for the authority from the SNP minority administration.

SNP councillor Aaron McLean drew a jack to beat Conservative councillor Tim Eagle with a seven. Photo: DCT Media

Both the SNP and Conservative proposals received 12 votes with independent Amy Taylor, a former SNP councillor, abstaining.

The Conservative group leader at the time Tim Eagle and senior SNP councillor Aaron McLean met to cut a deck of cards.

Mr Eagle went first and drew a seven, Mr McLean then drew a jack to keep the SNP in power in Moray.

Tories hope to lead Moray Council

Tory co-leader Neil McLennan said: “We want to avoid the cut of the cards to decide the leadership of Moray Council.

“We have been really chuffed with the numbers of Tory councillors elected.

“There are many ways to make the numbers needed to form an administration.

“We want a vision to deliver and help Moray thrive going forward.

“And we will have to wait and see what happens on Wednesday.

We hope other councillors follow through on the wishes of the people.”

Neil McLennan

“We hope other councillors follow through on the wishes of the people.

“Our discussions have been positive and we have managed to show our positive vision for Moray.”

SNP Graham Leadbitter was the council leader in the last term. Picture by Jason Hedges.

Meanwhile, the SNP’s Graham Leadbitter said: “Discussions are still live to form a progressive administration.

“These discussions haven’t reached a conclusion.

“It was clear from the result of the election, the public favours a centre and left-of-centre progressive policy agenda.

“We are seeking to take forward a progressive administration which requires backing from other councillors who have broadly similar votes.”

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