Lord Provost holds onto his post after Labour suspension

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The Independent Online
Pat Lally, the Lord Provost of Glasgow city council, remained defiant last night, saying he would continue in his elected position in spite of being suspended from acting as a Labour councillor. Pledging to clear his name, he said: "There is no reason why I should not continue as Lord Provost and I certainly intend to continue."

Mr Lally was one of nine councillors yesterday suspended by the Labour's ruling national executive (NEC), with only Dennis Skinner and Diane Abbott voting against, following a hard-hitting report into the allegations, which included claims of councillors offering their votes in the council in return for foreign junkets. Mr Skinner said later that there was insufficient evidence. The former leader Jean McFadden was appointed acting leader until elections in the Labour group in three weeks' time.

The NEC heard that in addition to using the funds for trips, there were threats of violence made against Labour councillors by their colleagues; and breaches of the rules for the declaration of interests. The nine councillors will be given a hearing, but those found guilty of bringing the party into disrepute could be expelled.

Mr Lally was among five councillors who were suspended from the Labour group, but not from all posts in the party. The others were Bob Gould, the Labour group leader; Gordon Macdiarmid, Alex Mosson, and Jim Mutter, the parks and recreation convener. Four others who were suspended from all roles in the party were: Elaine Smith, Deirdre Gaughan, Heather Ritchie and Jim Sharkey.

In a separate move the Labour NEC also endorsed the suspension of the Labour MP, Tommy Graham, following the allegations of a smear campaign in a suicide note by Gordon McMaster, the MP for Paisley South.

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