Moray Council has been shrouded in controversy yet again as the SNP group unveiled a motion of no confidence in the current leader and convener-elect.
Nationalist members last night hit out at councillor Allan Wright and dissented from the conservative group leader’s appointment at the last meeting of the council.
They cited his “unacceptable” language in his description of other councillors and proposing that the council should not appoint a replacement convener but instead combine the role of leader and convener.
Last month, Mr Wright stated that the actions of the 16 councillors who voted for the moratorium on rural school closures and the continuation of Milne’s High School in Fochabers was “cowardly”.
Councillor Gordon McDonald, who has proposed the no confidence motion, said: “The role of convener is supposed to be a dignified one, ensuring all councillors in Moray can fairly represent their communities and to also represent Moray as a whole in a civic capacity. How can someone who has described a large majority of Moray councillors as cowards reasonably have that role? His position is totally untenable.
“The overwhelming view I am getting from the public is that they find it ridiculous that councillor Wright has resigned his council leader role only to be appointed convener in a game of musical chairs with the current convener councillor Stewart Cree. It is treating both the people of Moray and their elected councillors with contempt.”
Councillor Graham Leadbitter, who has seconded the motion, added: “It is laughable that councillor Wright, who as well as being current council leader is the Conservative group leader of a dysfunctional Conservative group that are both in and out of the council’s administration at the same time, thinks that he is the person for this important council role.
“Convener of the council requires patience, diplomacy and understanding, qualities that seem sadly lacking for councillor Wright after his recent comments on how councillors voted in the Education Review. If representing your communities is being a coward then I could accept that but it is not. Representing your communities means listening and acting on their behalf. Something councillor Wright would do well to remember.”
Mr Wright declined to make any comment on the issue ahead of the full council meeting which will debate the motion on December 17.