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New Highland Council leadership confirmed

By Philip Murray

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The posts were confirmed at the first meeting of Highland Council.
The posts were confirmed at the first meeting of Highland Council.

HIGHLAND Council will again be led by councillor Margaret Davidson after the first meeting of the new council rubber-stamped her appointment.

Cllr Davidson, who also led the council in the build-up to the local elections, was returned to the post after the group of independent councillors she heads formalised a three-way alliance with the Liberal Democrats and Labour.

Lib Dem leader Alasdair Christie was confirmed as the council's deputy leader while former vice convener Bill Lobban, who was re-elected as an independent after defecting from the SNP earlier this year, has become convener.

Councillor Lobban, who represents Badenoch and Strathspey, will replace Isobel McCallum in the convener role, after she stepped down ahead of the election earlier this month.

Last week Cllr Davidson, a long-serving councillor for Aird and Loch Ness, confirmed her 28 independents would form an administration in coalition with the 10 Lib Dems and three Labour, giving a slim majority of four.

This led the SNP to accuse Cllr Davidson of “betraying voters” as leader Maxine Smith said an alliance with her 22 councillors would provide a more robust administration.

As leader of the largest party outwith the administration, Cllr Smith has been confirmed as leader of the opposition, continuing the role she held pre-election.

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