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Moray Council convener Marc Macrae resigns and also calls in Police Scotland to investigate

By Alistair Whitfield

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Cllr Marc Macrae.
Cllr Marc Macrae.

Moray Council's convener has stepped down from the role and has also asked the police to investigate claims he is being harassed.

Marc Macrae was set to face a vote of confidence at next Wednesday's meeting of the full council.

This follows allegations about his behaviour which date back to before he was appointed as convener in March.

Announcing his resignation, the Conservative councillor said: "Stepping aside as convener will enable me to clear my name of unfounded allegations.

"At the moment these allegations are creating a distraction to the important work which I, and my fellow councillors within the administration, are trying to do.

"Therefore, after much reflection, I have decided that it is in the best interest of the administration that I step aside from this very public role as I do not wish my personal situation to mar the good work of the team or the council."

Cllr Macrae added that he has contacted Police Scotland by email.

The statement announcing his resignation says: "With a former councillor making continued allegations and sending these to a wider distribution list in an attempt to further discredit him, with the backing of the Moray Conservative council group cllr Macrae has sought input from Police Scotland."

Next week's vote of confidence had been called for by several other councillors.

It's understood that in an incident three years ago cllr Macrae used swear words when complaining about a council employee to his line manager.

He later issued a statement apologising for his actions and saying he was not proud of them.

Meanwhile, Frank Brown, a former Conservative colleague who stood down before the local elections, has publicly claimed that cllr Macrae is "not a fit and proper person" to be the council's convener.

Cllr Kathleen Robertson, leader of the Conservative group, said: "Cllr Macrae and I take all allegations against our members seriously and I fully support his desire to clear his name.

"I respect the way which cllr Macrae has handled this situation and have been impressed with his selfless approach which led to his decision.

"His decision supports the collaborative approach which we, as the administrative group, are developing.

"It shows that we view the role of the convener as representing the council, and all members.

"Unfortunately, until these allegations are put to bed then they will continue to impact on his convenership.

"By stepping aside, cllr Macrae is stabilising the group and supports the council moving forward."

Despite no longer being the convenor, cllr Macrae will continue to represent the Fochabers/Lhanbryde ward on Moray Council.

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