MSP and councillor in family home row

Richard Lyle and daughter Marina celebrate election success.
Richard Lyle and daughter Marina celebrate election success.

An MSP has out at claims that he and his councillor daughter have broken rules by not declaring a property arrangement.

Richard Lyle and his wife, Marion, have gifted daughter Marina and son Vincent their home in New Stevenston.

Marina, who represents Bellshill ward on North Lanarkshire Council, has not declared the property on her register of interests.

It has been suggested that this is in breach of the councillors’ code of conduct and a complaint will be made to the Commissioner for Ethical Standards in Public Life.

However, Mr Lyle, who was elected MSP for Uddingston and Bellshill earlier this year, described the accusation as “fundamentally wrong”.

He said his daughter had been advised by the council’s head of legal services that the property need not be declared and he had received similar advice from officials at the Scottish Parliament.

Mr Lyle confirmed that he and his wife gifted the house to their children in 2012, but added: “Under a contract prepared by our lawyer, Marion and I continue to live in the house and we cannot sell it. So Marina and Vincent cannot benefit financially until we die which, hopefully, won’t be for some time.

“Council and parliament officials were told of this arrangement at the time and we consulted them again this week when it was suggested we had done wrong. Their advice remains the same - that the property need not be declared by Marina.”

Mr Lyle believes the claim of wrongdoing has come from within the SNP locally. The Uddingston and Bellshill branch has seen bitter divisions since the campaign last year for the Scottish Parliament nomination which Mr Lyle won.

Scottish Labour called the property row another example of in-fighting. A spokesman said: “Nicola Sturgeon must be sick of seeing the Lanarkshire branches of the SNP in the headlines.

“They look like a party at each other’s throats rather than one ready to fight cuts in their communities.”