A FORMER council leader who headed up a "coalition of chaos" with the Tories marched out of a major meeting because he couldn’t get an archaic title bestowed upon one of his allies.

David Fairweather decided to leave a full Angus Council meeting – which included several agenda items on the cost-of-living crisis – after elected members voted against his motion to reinstate the ancient post of Baillie.

The historic civic role – which arose in the Scottish burghs - dates back to the 1300s and is still used in some councils including Dundee.

According to the motion, a Baillie was originally the King’s representative for the administration of the Scottish burghs – which were abolished in the 1970s.

Fairweather's behaviour has been described as "disgraceful" and a "dereliction of duty". 

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The motion was voted down by the SNP administration along with some other opposition members, much to the disgust of former council leader Fairweather who said to the Provost Brian Boyd: “Councillor Boyd I will no longer refer to you as the Provost until you begin to act like one.

“This decision shames Angus Council. I record my dissent. I will remove myself from this room as a protest to this disgraceful pettiness from the SNP and the two stooges they have got.

“I will go before I say anything more that I regret.”

Fairweather wanted to bestow the title on Tory councillor and ex-Provost Ronnie Proctor.

After he slammed his laptop shut, another councillor can be heard saying Fairweather’s behaviour was “disgraceful”.

Fairweather headed up the previous administration run by the Tories and independents before the SNP took over in May as they gained four seats.

The Conservatives had been plagued by scandal after scandal and their administration has been branded a “coalition of chaos” by other parties.

The National: Lloyd MelvilleLloyd Melville (Image: Lloyd Melville)

The SNP group have since been trying to cut back on civic duties within the council to save cash. 

SNP councillor Lloyd Melville said Fairweather abandoned his constituents when there were pressing items to discuss, including helping people with financial challenges “due to Conservative economic policy”.

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He said: "We felt, very sensibly in my opinion, that the council had a really important agenda to get through for tackling the cost of living, for discussing the financial challenges that we have, in large part due to Conservative economic policy.

“So we took the decision where at a time when people are choosing between heating and eating, we are not going to bestow an archaic title on a member of the opposition.

"I think the actions of Councillor Fairweather at full council were disgraceful.

“I think he has walked out on his duty to his constituents to be there and scrutinise the administration and protect the people of Angus from the cost-of-living pressures they are facing.

"We had really important items to discuss, and to walk out on that shows a real dereliction of duty to the people that you're supposed to be representing."

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Melville added: “We’re serious about looking after the people of Angus. The opposition are just focused on playing games.”

Following the meeting, Fairweather told the National: “As for important matters, these had already been discussed by the opposition group of which I am a member and actions agreed.

“Cllr Melville would be better placed reviewing his own party’s actions than scrutinising mine.”