Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Moray’s SNP Council Group, who are the main Opposition Group on The Moray Council, has today [Tuesday] announced a change in leadership with long-standing Group Leader Cllr Pearl Paul stepping down from the position and Cllr Gary Coull, who represents the Keith and Cullen Ward, taking up the position.

Cllr Coull was supported unanimously to lead the Group.

Cllr Paul said:

“I have been Group Leader of the SNP Council Group on Moray Council for over 12 years now. I now have to step back from that role due to recent health issues.

“There is a wealth of talent in our Group and I know that the group will be in very good hands under Gary’s leadership. I have been very proud to lead a group of fantastic councillors, who have provided challenge to the Moray Council’s Administration and, indeed, challenge within the group, which is hugely important in keeping us focussed and on the ball.

“While I am no longer Group Leader I am still a councillor for Speyside Glenlivet and while I may be speaking a little less than I would as Opposition Leader that doesn’t mean I’ll be any quieter on the issues affecting the folk in Speyside!”

Newly appointed Group Leader Cllr Gary Coull said:

“I would like to thank the SNP group for placing their faith in me to lead them in the Council.  Our 11-strong group is an effective and constructive opposition and I intend to ensure that carries on.

“Pearl has been a brilliant leader of the SNP in Moray Council during the last 12 years and I want to thank her for the dedication.  She has brought common sense to local politics and I am delighted that she will be continuing as councillor for Speyside/Glenlivet.

“I don’t underestimate the challenge ahead but I am confident the SNP has the talent and drive in Moray to keep representing the people of this area with common sense and effectiveness.”

Gary has been congratulated by local MSP Richard Lochhead and MP Angus Robertson.

Richard Lochhead MSP said:

"Gary has been a huge great asset to the Council Group since being elected as Moray’s youngest councillor in 2007.  He has worked incredibly hard for Keith and Cullen over the last 8 years and I have no doubt that he is the right person to lead the SNP Group as we look forward to the next council elections in 2017.  

“Gary will no doubt have learned so much from Pearl, who is incredibly popular in her ward and remains an absolute champion for communities in Speyside.

“Pearl can be very proud of her record as leader and how she has transformed the fortunes of the SNP in Moray since taking over in 2003, including overseeing two spectacular by-election victories in the last year.”

Angus Robertson MP said:

“I congratulate Councillor Coull on taking up the role of Leader of the SNP Group in Moray Council. He is leading a council group with strength in depth who have a strong record of backing Moray’s communities on issues such as Libraries and Rural Schools. The experience he has personally gained will stand him in very good stead.

“I also thank Pearl Paul for the tremendous commitment she has given to both her community and to the SNP over many years and which she is continuing to do as a ward councillor. She has taken the SNP Group from just 3 in 2003 to the 11 councillors now and she can be very proud of her record in office.

"It is an exciting time in Moray and Scotland and it is not without it’s challenges given the austerity agenda from Westminster but Gary is leading a great team of councillors working hard for Moray.”