End this ‘tawdry episode’

Donald Manford.
Donald Manford.

Donald Manford has called for an end to the ‘tawdry episode’ of what he claims are members of political parties covertly seeking election as independents.

Mr Manford, who is standing for election as an SNP candidate, in the Vatersay, Barra and South Uist ward, says in the interests of local democracy all parties must be transparent and make it known to the electorate which of their membership seek election as independents.

In a statement he wrote: “This issue is not new, at the outset of this present council I called on members of political parties who called themselves Independents, to declare that membership in accordance with what I believed Code of Conduct required.

A number of councillors voiced the view that they were not obligated to do that. Recordings of these statements should still be retained by the Council.

“Following recent confirmation from a senior Labour Party spokesperson that “individuals with known party affiliations who stand for election without party labels” may be considered routine, to do other than properly declare that affiliation might be considered an abuse of the Standards in Public Life Code.

“I call on the Labour Party, indeed all Parties, to make it known to the electorate which of their membership is seeking election as Independents.”