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A group of councillors on Comhairle nan Eilean Siar have denied that any councillor is subject to an investigation about their conduct.

An SNP council group spokesperson said: "Contrary to media speculation, no Councillor in the Comhairle has been named as being subject to investigation.

"Of those names speculated in the media, no SNP councillor has been approached to give evidence to any internal review process.

"If it is being suggested that conclusions have been reached without members being told that their actions are under review, then it is clear that no due process has been followed, and that natural justice is entirely absent from the process.

“As council leader, Roddie Mackay should call for an investigation into how information about internal processes that only he and two others were party to, have been leaked to the media.”

Earlier in the week Comhairle leader Mackay said in a statement: "It is regrettable that some of our employees have encountered unacceptable and unpleasant behaviour towards them from any member.

“Respect for each other in the workplace is a fundamental right and, where officers have experienced anything other than this, it does need to be addressed.

"And so I would hope that any member who is reported as having displayed a pattern of distasteful and disrespectful behaviour towards our employees will reflect on their conduct and amend and improve the way they go about their business.

"I should expect that the seriousness of the behaviour and how it is addressed by those involved will determine whether further action will be appropriate."

And Wendy Dunsmore, Unite Regional Officer, said; "Unite would always expect that a zero-tolerance policy is adopted when it comes to unacceptable behaviours in the workplace, so we are glad to see that Comhairle nan Eilean Siar are taking a proactive approach to ensure that there are high standards of conduct, particularly when it comes to those whom we trust to hold public office."

"It would not be appropriate to comment on any individual situation, but we would remind any employees at the council that if they need assistance, they can always reach out to their trade union, Unite, for confidential and impartial support at work."

Councillors are expected to abide by a code of conduct set out by the Standards Commission for Scotland, which is provided to all councillors on election.

It says: “There is a statutory framework governing behaviour in public life, comprising a code of conduct which you must comply with when carrying out your duties as a councillor and a set of arrangements for dealing with complaints that a councillor has acted inappropriately and has contravened the code.

“In addition, your council will have its own internal policies which apply the code in the context of its work.”

Under the heading ‘respect’ the code says: “You must respect all other councillors and all council employees and the role they play, treating them with courtesy at all times. Similarly you must respect members of the public when performing duties as a councillor.

“You should apply the principles of this code to your informal dealings with the council’s employees, party political groups and others no less scrupulously than at formal meetings of the council and its committees and sub-committees.”