Monklands row fuelled by referral to Nolan

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Indy Politics
The row over allegations of corruption in Monklands District Council intensified yesterday as the shadow Scottish secretary accused the Prime Minister of misleading MPs by claiming Labour had suppressed its own report into the affair, writes Patricia Wynn Davies.

The charge from George Robertson came as Lord Nolan's committee on standards in public life announced that Monday's Black report, accusing the council of nepotism, religious prejudice and unfair spending, would form part of the evidence for a future examination of local government.

Ian Lang, Secretary of State for Scotland, wrote to Lord Nolan yesterday urging him to take the matter up.

Mr Lang is still considering whether he can order a formal and statutory inquiry, which Labour has urged him to mount under section 211 of the Local Government (Scotland) Act.

Mr Robertson accused Mr Lang of pulling a "cheap stunt" to refer the local council to the Nolan committee when the Cabinet had stopped it looking into party political funding.

Mr Robertson also protested in the House of Commons over John Major's claim that Mr Robertson had "consistently" refused to make public Labour's 1992-93 report into the Monklands affair.

Mr Robertson said the report had been published in 1993 and was made available to press.