THE SNP group which holds power on North Lanarkshire Council has elected a new leader after Jordan Linden stepped down following sexual harassment allegations.

Linden, who became the council’s first ever SNP leader following the local elections in May, resigned his post after he was accused of groping a teenager in Dundee after a Pride parade in 2019.

On Monday evening, the SNP group met and elected Councillor Tracy Carragher – formerly the council’s depute leader under Linden – to lead their group and the local authority.

Councillor Alan Masterton was elected to replace Carragher in the depute leader role.

The positions will be confirmed at an upcoming full council meeting.

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Carragher said: “I am grateful to my colleagues for placing their trust in me to lead the group and the council. My focus will continue to be ensuring our administration delivers for the people of North Lanarkshire, delivering our ambitious manifesto commitments on which we were elected in May.

“With recess over and committees beginning this month, residents will begin to see the changes necessary to improve our local communities following 26 years of Labour and Labour/Tory administrations’ failures. We will build on the early decisions already made by this administration at the last full council meeting.

“I look forward to working with all elected members to guide our communities through the Tory cost of living crisis, protecting and improving council services, expanding the council’s ambitious housebuilding program, and driving down the poverty related attainment gap.”

Masterton said: “It is an incredible privilege to be chosen by my colleagues to be their depute leader and nominee for depute leader of the council. Like all SNP councillors, I was elected on a pledge to deliver for, and improve, our communities across the local authority and that is what I am committed to doing as the council’s depute leader.

“Plans are already in place to deliver on our manifesto commitments such as reintroducing free swimming lessons for all children in P5, a wholesale review of the council house allocations policy and property repairs performance, and tackling the scourge of fly-tipping by reintroducing a free special uplift for all households.

“Our SNP administration remains absolutely focused on improving the lives of the people of North Lanarkshire.”

The SNP took control of the 77-seat North Lanarkshire Council after returning 36 councillors in the May local elections.

Labour (32) and the Tories (5) combined could have edged out the party, but a deal failed to materialise.