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Tuesday, 9 February 2010

Senior SNP Glasgow Councillor Alex Dingwall defects to the Liberal Democrats

Glasgow City Senior Councillor Alex Dingwall has decided to leave the SNP after 31 years as an SNP member and has today joined the Scottish Liberal Democrats.

I know there is bound to be the usual dismissal from the SNP that this isn't big news but actually it is.

The SNP gloss is peeling now and people are starting to realise that they said anything in 2007 just to get elected and are now just going back on so many of those election promises - part of the very reason why trust in politics is so low.

For an established and well respected Councillor and long time SNP member to turn his back on them after 31 years takes guts and I applaud Alex in making this decision.

It is a damning indictment that someone at the heart of the SNP for so long has lost confidence in the SNP’s ability to solve Glasgow’s many problems.

I am happy to welcome Alex to the party. Defections are always going to happen from time to time – and while it’s easy to pick out past disagreements or criticism (from all sides), it’s better to look at the future.

I would urge anyone wavering in their support for the SNP to join Alex Dingwall and back the Scottish Liberal Democrats which offers positive local change in Glasgow.

Alex Dingwall topped the poll in 2007 in the Maryhill/Kelvin ward and now joins fellow Liberal Democrat Councillor Mary Paris representing the people of the ward in the Westminster constituency of Glasgow North which Katy Gordon is campaigning in to become the next MP for the area.

Alex Dingwall said of his defection from the SNP to the Scottish Liberal Democrats: “I believe that Glasgow needs a change in how our city is run and a party that sets out a clear, credible alternative to the current Labour Administration. Regrettably over the last year it has become clear to me that the Glasgow SNP Council Group lacks both the leadership and the authority to set out an alternative vision for our city."

“After 31 years of membership with the SNP the decision to leave has not been an easy one but the move away from a local to a centrally set income tax and the recent threats to take away control of schools and care for the elderly from local authorities show the SNP simply doesn’t trust its councillors, preferring instead to govern local communities by ministerial decree."

“That’s why I am pleased to be joining the Liberal Democrats. I share their commitment to local government and to the core principle of keeping local decisions local.

“I will continue to work constructively for my constituents and for the people of Glasgow, but now in a way which is entirely in keeping with my personal and political beliefs.”

Liberal Democrat candidate for Glasgow North, Katy Gordon added: “I’ve known Councillor Dingwall for many years and I’m really pleased to welcome him to the party.

“This is a real boost to the Liberal Democrat campaign in Glasgow North. People are fed up with Labour and Councillor Dingwall’s decision demonstrates once again that the real alternative is the Liberal Democrats.”

The Liberal Democrat MSP for Glasgow Robert Brown added:  “I’m delighted that Councillor Dingwall has decided to join the Liberal Democrats.

“As a talented and able politician, he will be a real asset to the Liberal Democrat group.

“I’ve no doubt that he’ll work in close harmony with his Liberal Democrat colleagues and with Liberal Democrat principles for the greater good of Glasgow.”


Unknown said...

This is brilliant news. It just shows that the Liberal Democrats are gaining in Glasgow.

I'll be glad to see Katy Gordon elected as MP for Glasgow North.

Ruaraidh said...

This is fantastic. People in Glasgow know that the SNP haven't got a plan for the city - now even their own councillors admit it!

It goes to show that only the Lib Dems and Katy Gordon offer real change in Glasgow.

Anonymous said...

Yawn, more like the Lib Dems being happy to accept our cast offs!
Dingwall has got an ego the size of Glasgow. Was the budget spokesman for the SNP and couldnt handle the fact that the leadership called in his budget because of problems they had spotted. sorry guys, but he has only joined you because he couldnt take over the Glasgow SNP council group himself (which he tried). word is Labour wouldnt touch him either, good luck with this self serving hypocrite.

Anonymous said...

Ha Ha... poor deluded fools... Alex asked to join Labour but even they couldn't handle an ego that size.. It's simply sour grapes after his leadership bid.. in which he received one vote... his own!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Jamie McHale it's brilliant that he is now a yoke on the lib-dem necks. Good Riddance, not before time.

Anonymous said...

labour couldn't garauntee a place as potential candidate for him, he only went to lib-dems 'cos they could. they are second choice, through necessity.

Ruaraidh said...

Well, that's a lot of badly spelled anonymous comments within 5 minutes of each other. Someone on the defensive a bit?

Anonymous said...

Ruaraidh, I know you say its infrequent but I don't think that really covers the total lack of blogging you've done since the summer. Like all SNP members I do love your snooty deluded and self important blogs - so come on mate get your act together. As for Alex Dingwall - its largely irrelevant as Wee Ann is nailed on to retain Glasgow North- without any worries from Pat or the Tories and certainly not Katy 3338 Gordon ( wasn't it someone else who was 3338 votes away from Ann in 2005?).

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