A Highland councillor was last night pondering his future after being expelled by the SNP group.
Five months after a temporary suspension for “an internal matter,” Inverness member Allan Duffy was yesterday (WED) ejected altogether.
Group leader Maxine Smith said he would be obliged to relinquish his party membership.
While considering an appeal to party headquarters, Councillor Duffy said he was keen to stand at next year’s council elections, possibly on an independent ticket.
The 40-year-old ex soldier and father-of-three joined the SNP after an 11-year spell in the Army in 2008. He was elected four years later to serve the Inverness West ward.
Ms Smith said: “Over an extended period of time, councillor Duffy has failed to meet the expectations of an SNP councillor. As a consequence, he’s been expelled from the group. Allan has had every opportunity to carry out his duties giving due regard to his position as an SNP councillor. On several occasions this has been brought into question. This ultimately resulted in the group unanimously agreeing that Allan was not carrying out his work as we or the party would expect.”
She added that she was “saddened that this has had to happen” and that she bore him no malice.
Mr Duffy said he had been accused of not attending a licensing committee and a number of community council meetings despite offering apologies in advance.
He added that the group had opted to “discipline” him rather than support him through a difficult period of his personal life.
Ms Smith insisted that the group had “fully supported him through it.”
The expulsion leaves the council with a minority 32-member independent administration and opposition comprising 18 SNP, 13 Liberal Democrats, seven Labour, six Highland Alliance and four non-aligned members. SOURCE
A HIGHLAND councillor has been ousted from the Scottish National Party’s group but insists he has been unfairly penalised.
Allan Duffy, who represents the Inverness West ward, was expelled by group leader Maxine Smith yesterday due to “failing to meet expectations”.
Cllr Duffy, who was elected in 2012, said he was accused of failing to submit apologies for a meeting but insisted he did so in the form of a text to cllr Smith.
“I was called in for a disciplinary meeting which I attended today,” he said.
“I was given a chance to say my piece and I considered toeing the party line and apologising but I haven’t done anything to apologise for. I told them if they wanted to keep me in the group fine but if not, fine, kick me out, and here we are.”
This is the second time cllr Duffy has been removed from the group this year, although neither he or cllr Smith would comment on the reasons from the previous removal in June.
Cllr Duffy said he felt penalised by some members of the party: “I have been through some difficult personal circumstances in the last year and a half and my behaviour has not been perfect during that time but I feel like they have disciplined me instead of supporting me. There have also been issues I wanted to speak up on but was told not to because my opinions were not in line with party policy, even if they were in the best interest of my constituents.”
Cllr Smith, who represents the Cromarty Firth ward, confirmed the expulsion in a statement which read: “Over an extended period of time councillor Allan Duffy has failed to meet the expectations of an SNP councillor. As a consequence he has been expelled from the SNP council group.”
Cllr Duffy will serve as a non-aligned member until the local government elections in May, where he will contest his seat as an independent.
“My priority is to work for my constituents and act in their best interests while continuing to campaign for independence, which many of my constituents are in favour of,” I believe I will be able to do that better as I can vote based on what my ward needs without facing a party whip.”
This brings the number of SNP councillors to 18 out of 80 overall.