The new council administration in Edinburgh will be led by 13 Labour councillors, two of whom abstained from the vote to put their party into power.

Leader of the Labour group, Cllr Cammy Day, has been appointed Leader of the Council with Cllr Mandy Watt as Depute Leader. The deal was voted through by most of the Labour councillors with support from the Liberal Democrat Group and Conservatives, which totalled 32 votes, defeating the SNP Green coalition proposal which was fleshed out earlier this week.

Cllr Cammy Day Leader of The City of Edinburgh Council

Two roles have been given to the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats, with Jason Rust becoming Licensing Board Vice Convener and Cllr Louise Young taking the position as Licensing Board Convener.

Others have been appointed as follows: Cllr Neil Ross (LD) becomes Regulatory Committee Convener, Cllr Hal Osler (LD) becomes Development Sub Committee Convener and Cllr Jo Mowat (Cons) becomes Licensing Sub Committee Convener.

All remaining positions are filled by Labour councillors as below with Cllr Lezley Marion Cameron becoming Depute Lord Provost.

Cllr Cammy Day new Council Leader said: “I am really proud to be Leader. We have made a commitment that our manifesto will be at the forefront, but that we will work with every party across the chamber to deliver the best we can for the city.

“We are clear that there are similarities in all parties’ manifestos and it is up to others to come and work with us on a joint programme. I think it is an opportunity for a progressive group to lead the council here in Edinburgh.”

Cllr Kevin Lang became leader of the Edinburgh Liberal Democrats as Cllr Robert Aldridge became Lord Provost. He said: “We will continue to sit as a constructive but robust opposition party. We voted to put Labour in place, but we are very clear that where we agree we will vote with them and where we disagree we will say so and vote accordingly. They cannot take us for granted, but I think it a good thing that Labour will have to reach out and engage with other political parties.”

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Cllr Adam McVey

SNP group leader Cllr Adam McVey commented: “Any pretence that this is not a Labour-Tory-Lib Dem coalition is an insult to voters’ intelligence. 

“Deal making is a requirement of our voting system. Whilst the SNP and Greens are being open and up front with the electorate about our progressive joint programme, this Labour-Tory-Lib Dem coalition has not let the people of Edinburgh know about their intentions.

“We were proud to put forward a joint programme which would have taken forward this city’s priorities. From our joint vision addressing the climate emergency and the Tory made cost of living crisis to tackling our city’s housing challenges with robust and progressive proposals.

“The Labour manifesto had many areas of harmony with ours and the Greens’. But they have chosen to throw in their lot with the Tories and Lib Dems to carve up paid administration roles.

“The people of Edinburgh could be forgiven for expecting nothing more from this Labour-Tory-Lib Dem coalition than instability, indecision and inaction in the face of dramatic challenges facing our capital city.

“Even some of Labour’s own councillors can’t stomach the backroom deal their party is happily making with the Tories.

“The SNP group and our Green partners will work constructively to take forward elements of our shared progressive programme where possible. And this regressive coalition should be in no doubt that we will hold them to account when they fail to deliver for the people of Edinburgh.”

Green Co-convener Councillor Claire Miller said: “I’m disappointed that the Green-SNP programme for the council has not gone ahead as we had a clear vision with strong commitments particularly on housing , transport, equality and the climate emergency. But Green councillors will still seek to work constructively with councillors from all parties on these priorities.’

Green co-convener Cllr Steve Burgess added: “Nearly 60% of voters in Edinburgh, voted for three progressive parties that prioritise fairness, equality and strong action on the climate emergency. Sadly we now have a Labour-led coalition and nobody knows what their plans are, except that it will be influenced their Tories and LibDem partners.”

Edinburgh City Chambers. Photo: © 2020, Martin P. McAdam