SNP stalwart quits with ‘heavy heart’
Cllr Watson resigns from Group and as SLLC chair
An East Kilbride councillor has resigned from the SNP Group in South Lanarkshire after nearly 40 years as a party member.
SNP stalwart David Watson – who represents East Kilbride West – has also quit the board of South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture (SLLC) of which he was chair.
It follows an internal dispute between Councillor Watson and South Lanarkshire Council officials, as well as SNP Group office bearers, on how an SLLC employee grievance should be dealt with legally.
Councillor Watson – who has been a councillor in South Lanarkshire for 26 years – received independent legal advice on the matter as SLLC chair and insists that this is a requirement under Charities and Company Law.
Councillor Watson will now be an independent on the council and told the News that he took the decision with a “heavy heart”.
However, he felt that he had no other option but to walk away.
“I deeply regret that I have been forced into this situation after all my years as an SNP member and councillor but I feel that I had no other option to defend my integrity,” he said.
“Throughout my political career I have always tried to do what is right and have taken this decision with a heavy heart but felt I was being left with no other option.
“It is with the deepest regret that I have tendered my resignation from the South Lanarkshire Council SNP Group.
“This decision bears no reflection on local SNP colleagues, other councillors and staff at South Lanarkshire Leisure and Culture.
“I would like to thank both council colleagues and staff at SLLC for their messages of support.”
A council spokesman said: “We can confirm that at their meeting last Friday the SLLC board was advised of two changes in council representation, with Councillor Gerry Convery (East Kilbride Central South) and Councillor Peter Craig (Larkhall) joining the board.
“The third council representative, Councillor Lynne Nailon (Hamilton South), remains a board member.
“The board agreed that Councillor Craig would take up the role of interim chair and it will be for the board to decide longer term arrangements at a future meeting.”
Council leader John Ross said: “David Watson formally resigned as SLLC chair last week.
“I regret that he also chose to resign from the SNP Group as we did assure him that his work over the years was valued and that he still had a role to play as a member of the group.”
I deeply regret I have been forced into this situation after all my years as an SNP member and councillor but feel I had no other option to defend my integrity Cllr David Watson
Resignation East Kilbride West councillor David Watson has resigned from South Lanarkshire SNP Group and leisure and culture role