Published: 11/12/2012 11:26 - Updated: 11/12/2012 11:42

Councillor quits SNP amid election fraud allegations

Councillor Alex MacLeod
Councillor Alex MacLeod

THE youngest ever Highland councillor has been reported to the procurator fiscal following a police probe into his election expenses.

Northern Constabulary has reported Councillor Alex MacLeod over alleged discrepancies in his campaign expenditure leading up to the local authority elections.

A police spokesman said: "A 20-year-old man has been reported to the procurator fiscal in connection with alleged offences under the Representation of the People Act 1983 and related offences."

Councillor MacLeod, who was a teenager when he won a seat in the Landward Caithness ward, has now quit the SNP group on the authority.

Councillor MacLeod, a former aide to the First Minister Alex Salmond when he left school, confirmed his resignation from the party but would not comment further.

Drew Hendry, the council leader and SNP group leader, said the young councillor had left the party to deal with legal matters.

It is understood he will remain as an independent councillor.

Despite his youth, Councillor MacLeod has been a high-profile member of the council since his election.

He was involved in developing the SNP, Liberal Democrat and Labour coalition’s five-year programme and was his party’s Gaelic spokesman, having studied the language at school.

Councillor MacLeod, who hails from near Tain, studied law at Edinburgh University and was the campaign manager for veteran Nationalist Rob Gibson when he won the Caithness, Sutherland and Ross constituency in the Scottish Parliament elections in 2011.

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