Election rivals clash over fuel vote

The SNP group at North Lanarkshire Council has called on Bellshill MSP Michael McMahon to explain why he did not vote for the scrapping of fuel duty and a fair fuel regulator in the Scottish Parliament.

A motion calling for the Westminster Government to scrap the proposed fuel duty increase and introduce a fair fuel regulator was backed by 75 MSPs, with three voting against and 43 abstaining.

SNP group leader Richard Lyle, who will stand against Mr McMahon in the new Bellshill and Uddingston seat at May’s Scottish Parliament elections, said: “Labour have shown their hand in not backing the call for a fairer fuel price in these difficult times.

“Mr McMahon and his colleagues are clearly out of touch with their constituents on this matter and do not realise the devastating affect that soaring fuel prices and spiralling inflation are having on our hard working constituents.”

The fair fuel regulator would see fuel prices automatically reduced if they reach a certain level, but at the same time artificially inflated if they dropped too low.

Mr McMahon argues that this system doesn’t work and once fuel prices start to drop Labour would rather they were kept down.

He said: “We want to get the price of fuel down and keep it that way, not put it up again artificially. Had Mr Lyle been at the debate he would have understood this.”