FOUR SNP councillors linked to the so-called North Lanarkshire Monklands McMafia turf war have been deselected by the party.

Councillors Michael Coyle, his wife Agnes, David Baird and Dr Imtiaz Majid, have all been told they have failed party vetting and will not be allowed to stand as candidates in May’s election, though they do have the right to appeal.

The party in North Lanarkshire has been rocked by bitter infighting over the last few years, with the SNP taking the unusual step of suspending the Coatbridge and Chryston branch because meetings had become too “toxic” with “a culture of mistrust” in which “the level of discord is intolerable”.

The turf war had supposedly pitted the old guard associated with former minister Alex Neil and Richard Lyle, the MSP for Uddingston and Bellshill, against new members who rallied around Phil Boswell, the MP for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill.

The infighting came to a head when Councillor Julie McAnulty was suspended from the party after an accusation of racism.

Activist Sheena McCulloch claimed the councillor said the party needed to get rid of the “Pakis”.

McAnulty’s supporters claimed the allegation was part of smear campaign from an increasingly desperate old guard, who wanted to damage her reputation and intimidate her. McAnulty, who previously worked for Boswell, was cleared of charges and is seeking more than £100,000 in damages from McCulloch, who works for Lyle.

Yesterday, the party said McAnulty had passed vetting.

Last year, a sheriff said Majid had lied and fabricated evidence in a bid to cheat his wife out of a fair divorce settlement.

He deliberately concealed his wealth, pretended to lose tens of thousands of pounds through a gambling addiction, and used his two younger brothers as part of the scheme, which involved a bank transfer of £250,000 ostensibly in return for company shares and a house sale of almost £120,000.

Dr Majid also kept his wife, Uzma, who at one stage left him to go to a woman’s refuge in London, “continually short of money” and in a house which was “inadequately furnished and heated”. Sheriff Morag Galbraith ordered Majid to pay his wife, who cares for their two children, £150,000.

Majid nearly became the SNP candidate for Coatbridge, Chryston and Bellshill in 2015 after being endorsed by Neil. He won selection but then failed vetting.

Last year, Michael Coyle, below, defended himself against allegations he had links to organised crime.

The National:

The councillor, nicknamed “Don Coyleone” by critics, had police provide him with a letter clearing him of criminality.

Meanwhile, Fulton MacGregor, who was elected as MSP for Coatbridge and Chryston last year, and who was never popular with many of the new guard in the party, may see two family members elected to North Lanarkshire Council.

His brothers Findlay MacGregor and Fergus MacGregor have both passed vetting.