Politics: Provost banned

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The Independent Online
One of the Labour's most senior figures in Scotland was last night banned by the party's National Constitutional Committee from holding office for 18 months after a sleaze inquiry.

Lord Provost Pat Lally, 73, escaped expulsion from the party, as Labour's National Executive Committee had demanded, after a 12-hour hearing in Glasgow. The suspension would disqualify him from standing in elections next year, either to the Scottish Parliament or Glasgow council. Mr Lally said: "I am not happy. I am extremely unhappy. I am not Mr Happy tonight." It was unclear whether he would be allowed to serve out his term as Glasgow's first citizen.

The Lord Provost is the most prominent figure to have been caught up in the corruption allegations which have plagued the party in Scotland. They erupted last year with a claim by Robert Gould, the former leader of the Labour-ruled council, of "trips for votes" horse-trading within Labour ranks.

- Kim Sengupta