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Labour's revenge leaves McCafferty out in the cold

THE local authorities' chief negotiator in the post-McCrone talks has lost his job as their national education spokesman, writes David Henderson.

As we went to press on Wednesday, Danny McCafferty was set to resign from the Labour Party along with three other dissidents and throw West Dunbartonshire Council into further turmoil.

Mr McCafferty has already been suspended for six months from the controlling Labour group by party headquarters after siding with the Scottish Nationalists and voting against the local leadership. He is at loggerheads with Andy White, council leader - coincidentally the new finance convener at the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities.

Mr McCafferty has held his Cosla post for the two crucial years in which teachers' pay and conditions talks staggered to a successful conclusion. He told The TES Scotland: "The difference between myself and the local leadership is massive and positions have become increasingly entrenched. It's highly likely I'll withdraw from national involvement in education."

That decision has already been taken by Labour councillors in Cosla who will replace him formally at the end of next month when the organisation reduces its spokespeople from 22 to 12. Education will merge with the arts and leisure.

It became clear Mr McCafferty was on his way out last week when a Cosla education statement appeared in the name of Pat Watters, its vice-president, and senior South Lanarkshire councillor. This week a statement was released by Helen Law, current education vice-convener and Fife's education convener.

If, as expected, Mr McCafferty becomes an Independent councillor, he will almost certainly lose his local education base. He has only recently recovered from a bout of ill health following the McCrone deal.

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