LABOUR’S by-election campaign in Rutherglen and Hamilton West has been left in chaos after leaked emails revealed a “civil war” in the local council.

Party councillors in South Lanarkshire rounded on their colleague Monique McAdams for reportedly airing Labour business in public.

Emails seen by the Daily Record show a number of councillors describing her comments as a “disgrace”, “entirely unacceptable”, and “politically damaging”.

The newspaper reports that Labour insiders are worried tensions in the Labour group in South Lanarkshire will harm their campaign.

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The latest row concerns a meeting of the full council last year in which McAdams said she had her “political committees” taken off her.

She added that she had not provided consent to sit on the committees she had been nominated to be on.

Her comments sparked a lot of backlash from her colleagues with council leader Joe Fagan writing: “The intentional airing of internal Labour business in a council meeting, whether the issue of our partnership or the allocation of committees, was entirely unacceptable as all group members should be aware.

“I have never witnessed such flagrant disregard for the unity of our group and or lack of consideration for colleagues and the reputation for the administration as I did in today’s meeting.

“It is politically damaging to us all and group members, including the group member concerned, know better. It must never happen again.”

Another councillor, Davie McLachlan, described the situation as an “embarrassment” and a “disgrace”.   

“We all know that this is available for any member of the public to see but I’m afraid that this could be why Monique conducted herself in the way she did, to cause embarrassment to you and in turn every other group member”, his email said.

“I am left wondering where we go from here given the damage already done. I have been a member for 27 years and in that time, I have witnessed disagreements and some falling out, but nothing compares to what happened today, especially as it was wide open to the public.”

The SNP’s by-election candidate Katy Loudon (below) said Labour had got themselves into a “grubby civil war”.

The National: SNP Westminster by-election candidate Katy Loudon

She told the newspaper: “Instead of prioritising the people of South Lanarkshire, the Labour councillors are once again focussed on their own internal battles.

“We have South Lanarkshire Labour embroiled in a grubby civil war, a Labour candidate in Rutherglen and Hamilton West who has copied Anas Sarwar and ditched his principles to toe the Westminster party line, and a UK Labour leader who has U-turned on a raft of progressive manifesto pledges to be more like the Tories.”

The Record also obtained an email from a third councillor, Catherine McClymont, who said: “I was embarrassed to hear councillor Monique McAdam make the comments she did in front of not only the full council but to everyone who wishes to see it on YouTube.

“I feel that this is something that should not have happened under any circumstances. I also worry about the impact this might have on our newly formed coalition, but I know they were less than impressed with the conduct of Monique today.”

She continued: “I am bitterly disappointed at how this will look to the opposition and the public in general.

“What should have been a good day for us all to be part of the new administration turned out to be all about one councillor.

“That is my opinion obviously, but I hope that we can improve our performance at future meetings and not give the opposition ammunition to shoot us with.”

McAdams is currently on sick leave from the council.

Ahead of the 2021 Holyrood election, McAdams was ranked fourth on Labour’s list in the Central Scotland region.

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This means she would be first in line to become an MSP if a sitting member were to quit ahead of the next election.

Tension within the Labour group in South Lanarkshire has previously been reported.

The Daily Record also previously revealed how one councillor had written to Sarwar about the “poisonous” atmosphere in the group.

On the emails, a spokesperson for Scottish Labour said: “This wild overreaction by the SNP to an email chain between councillors shows just how desperate they are.

“While the SNP clutch at straws, Scottish Labour is focused on delivering a fresh start for the people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West with Michael Shanks.”