Argyll and Bute Council leader resigns

SNP councillors James Robb and Roddy McCuish, pictured in February this year, on the day the former succeeded the latter as leader of Argyll and Bute Council. Just three months later Cllr Robb has resigned and Cllr McCuish, who became deputy leader in February, is back in the top job - at least for now.

SNP councillors James Robb and Roddy McCuish, pictured in February this year, on the day the former succeeded the latter as leader of Argyll and Bute Council. Just three months later Cllr Robb has resigned and Cllr McCuish, who became deputy leader in February, is back in the top job - at least for now.

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The leader of Argyll and Bute Council resigned from his post on Monday afternoon.

Cllr James Robb stood down at the request of his SNP group colleagues after his move to set up a coalition with Conservative and Liberal Democrat councillors was blocked by party headquarters.

The SNP had given its Argyll and Bute councillors until 5pm today to walk away from the proposed coalition or face expulsion from the party, although by the time the deadline arrived all 11 members of the group had already chosen the former option.

Cllr Robb only took over as leader of the authority in February, succeding his party colleague Cllr Roddy McCuish, who became deputy leader.

Just three months later the mantle of leadership passes back, temporarily at least, to Cllr McCuish, although at this stage the questions of who might become leader in the longer term - and, indeed, which political groups in the Lochgilphead council chamber might come together to run the authority’s affairs - remain unresolved.

Less than 24 hours before Cllr Robb’s resignation, Bute SNP councillor Robert Macintyre had told The Buteman he believed the only way to end the turmoil engulfing the local party was for the leader to step down.