By-election win shifts council dynamic

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North Lanarkshire Council’s Labour group has gained a new member following a by-election in Fortissat.

Clare Quigley has been elected to serve in the area, which means Labour and the SNP are now each on 33 members.

There are nine Tory councillors and two independents.

The by-election was triggered when the Tories won a seat in May’s council elections but winning candidate Sandy Thornton refused to sign the paperwork necessary to become a councillor.

Following the by-election on Thursday, September 7, returning officer Paul Jukes said: “I would like to congratulate Clare Quigley on her election.

“I look forward to seeing her at the next council meeting.”

Since May Labour has held a minority administration in North Lanarkshire, with the council led by Jim Logue and Kilsyth member Jean Jones serving as the first female provost.

Councillor Logue said the result was a “vindication” of his minority administration. “This poses a practical and psychological difficulty for the SNP group,” he added.

“Since the election the SNP have been in a political huff and claimed they were the ones who should have formed an administration.

“They need to stop their smear campaign that the council is led by a Labour and Tory coalition and get on board with helping the council drive forward its policy development.”

The SNP came third in the Fortissat by-election, being outpolled by both Labour and the A Better Britain - Unionist Party candidates.