Paisley councillor hits out at Labour ‘time wasting’ after ‘Yes’ flag meeting furore

Kenny MacLaren has hit out at councillors for “time wasting” after a flag furore marred a Renfrewshire Council meeting.

A video emerged of the heated debate which saw Councillor MacLaren’s Scottish flag emblazoned with the word ‘Yes’ become the centre of the attention.

The Paisley Northwest SNP representative insists members who don’t want to be in politics “shouldn’t be in politics” as he defended his stance.

Councillor MacLaren was called out by Renfrewshire Labour group leader Iain MacMillian for having a “political slogan” on show during the meeting.

This led to a five-minute discussion among several members about the flag with several members getting involved in the exchanges.

As the dust settled on the shenanigans, Councillor MacLaren defended having the flag up as he took aim at those who disapproved of it.

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He said: “I think the full thing was just time wasting by Labour and Tory councillors, to be honest. I have had that flag up in numerous meetings.

“The flag is covering an IKEA unit which is to help cover up the items on the shelves. If I took the flag down you would probably see more SNP logos than anything else as that is normally where I keep my campaign materials.

“The flag is actually there to stop an outright political statement and to make the room a bit tidier.”

Councillor MacLaren said he was “shocked” that Tory councillor David McGonigle tried to get the meeting suspended with provost Lorraine Cameron ultimately dismissing the suggestion as there were ‘important matters’ to discuss.

In Friday’s Paisley Daily Express, Councillor McMillan said it was elected members’ responsibility to act with a “wee bit of decorum”.

He added: “Some of the comments on social media have been interesting to say the least but we in the Labour group have made our point.”

A clip from the meeting has gone viral with figures showing it had over 400,000 views on the social media platform TikTok.

Councillor MacLaren feels this is something the council could use to its advantage as he wishes that many people would normally pay attention to politics.

He added: “I have had emails through about the meeting from various different people with some helping me.

“I wish that normal politics would get this much attention and be as interested in it because it would help the council I feel. I still couldn’t believe the number of views it had when I saw it.”

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Daily Record – Paisley