Outspoken Inverness councillor quits SNP group
A NATIONALIST councillor has dramatically quit the SNP group on Highland Council — one day after the deal to stage an independence referendum was agreed.
Inverness Central’s Donnie Kerr announced his decision in an email to colleagues.
But the outspoken councillor — who has been at loggerheads with the party leadership in the past and was suspended for an alleged remark made to a female colleague last year — will still campaign for an independent Scotland.
It comes less than 24 hours after UK and Scottish governments agreed that the historic vote will be held in 2014, although it is understood his timing is unconnected.
In the email, Councillor Kerr said he would continue to represent the interest of his constituents as an "independent councillor."
It is not yet known if that would see him seek membership of the opposition group of Independent councillors or instead become non-aligned and unattached to any group.
His decision is a blow to the SNP/Liberal Democrat/Labour administration which controversially took control of the local authority in May after the elections at the expense of the Independents.
Only last week Councillor Kerr criticised the administration for its use of the Inverness Common Good Fund compared to previous coalitions and in August he also spoke out against the handling of a planning application for the new town of Tornagrain near Inverness and signed a notice of amendment with Independent councillors.
Councillor Kerr has carved out a reputation as a hard working local representative who is not shy of confrontation with officials and has been vocal on issues like housing, anti-social behaviour and homelessness.
Last year he was disciplined by the SNP after allegations he was abusive towards former Inverness West councillor Pauline Munro.
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