Aberdeen City Council co-leader Alex Nicoll is quitting.

The surprise weekend move happened after the local authority came under intense pressure over its controversial cost-cutting plans.

But Mr Nicoll insists he had simply decided now was the best time for him to step back due to the time-consuming demands of the role.

He told the Press & Journal he had taken time to reflect on his position as he gets older after turning 65 last week - and he felt now was the best time to hand over the reins.

Mr Nicoll said the role had been "a real honour" - and he planned to continue as a city councillor.

He was first elected to the council in October 2015.


Mr Nicoll said: "After discussions with my family and friends, I have decided not to seek re-election as leader.

"I am incredibly thankful to the many people who have supported me on my journey, which has taken me from growing up in Heathryfold to leading Aberdeen City Council."

However, council insiders said the local SNP group had been left “reeling” after local people reacted furiously to budget decisions.

Sources claimed there had been “ruptures” within the SNP as a result of the cuts row.

Mr Nicoll has served as joint Aberdeen council chief alongside Lib Dem Ian Yuill after his party’s success in the 2022 local elections.

The SNP picked up 20 seats after gaining one extra councillor - a record result for the party in Aberdeen which let them oust the ruling Labour and Tory coalition.

Meeting tonight

SNP members will meet tonight to elect a new leader.

Councillors Christian Allard, Alex McLellan and Miranda Radley have been tipped as possible contenders for the top role.

It emerged last week that a fight against the closure of libraries and a swimming pool in Aberdeen has been launched in court.

A petition has been lodged with the Court of Session in Edinburgh for a judicial review of the council’s decision to close Bucksburn pool and Woodside library.

Similar action could follow to reverse the fates of other libraries at Cornhill, Cults, Ferryhill, Kaimhill and Northfield.

There have been protests across Aberdeen at last month’s closures, following the first budget passed since the SNP and Lib Dems took charge at the Town House.

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