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Friday 19th
posted by Zoe Streatfield in Britain

SCOTTISH Labour’s ruling body warned councillors in West Lothian not to do a coalition deal with the Tories yesterday — or they will face a similar fate as party members in Aberdeen.

Labour councillors in Aberdeen were suspended on Wednesday after defying orders and going ahead with a plan to work with the Tories.

The Scottish executive committee has also vetoed a deal with the Tories in West Lothian, in a bid to be a credible alternative to their austerity measures.

Scottish Labour deputy leader Alex Rowley said the party had been clear that “no power-sharing arrangements would be agreed where it would mean increased austerity that will impact on communities, in particular the poorest communities up and down Scotland.”

He said the Labour group had put forward proposals which had been refused, “so there will be no deal with the Tories in West Lothian.”

A Campaign for Socialism (CfS) spokesman said the Scottish executive committee has a role to ensure that Labour is clearly seen to be a party defending services, jobs and combating austerity. CfS-supporting Constituency Labour Party reps on the executive pushed for the application of a strong anti-austerity position on deals — in line with the policies passed at Scottish conference.

The CfS spokesman said: “We, particularly in the midst of a general election, need to be true to Labour values of being for the many, not the few.

“Deals with Conservatives on councils won’t do that. Labour groups forming coalitions with the Tories won’t be putting through a programme so much as contributing to further decline.”