A FORMER independent Clydebank councillor has been accused of "betraying voters" after joining the Scottish National Party. 

Councillor Marie McNair made the announcement last week after standing as an independent councillor since December 2008, saying she felt it was the best way to serve her constituents in the face of Tory government cuts and an "out of touch" local Labour administration.

She told the Post: “Every step of the way I always put my constituents first. I am disgusted by the way they have been treated by this Tory government and let down by the council’s Labour administration.

“I am impressed at the way that Nicola Sturgeon has fought for the needs of Scotland and put social justice first by standing up to the Tory attacks on the most vulnerable. I also admire the way the SNP group on the council has been exposing the way that the Labour group are completely out of touch with the needs of our constituents.”

However, Labour council leader Martin Rooney has slammed the “opportunist” move, branding it an act of the “Marie McNair Self-Preservation Society”.

He said: “Councillor Marie McNair is an opportunist so this is no surprise to me or my colleagues. 

“It doesn’t matter to McNair that she is betraying voters, her independent colleagues, the SNP or the Labour Party. 

“This is the Marie McNair Self-Preservation Society; she has one aim, to create for herself the best opportunity to be elected in 2017.”

Cllr Rooney also said the move would push out longstanding SNP members in Clydebank looking to stand for the party.

SNP group leader Cllr Jonathan McColl hit back, describing Cllr Rooney’s comments as "appalling".

He said: “Martin Rooney’s been overdoing the Advocaat this Christmas if he thinks Marie couldn’t get re-elected on an independent ticket. 

“She is a fantastic local councillor with huge support in her ward, unlike Cllr Rooney who looks very likely to be unseated in 2017 along with a great many of his Labour Party colleagues.”

In 2008, Cllr McNair said she left Labour after allegedly enduring months of sexual harassment from a colleague that went uninvestigated. At the time, Labour said the claims wer unsubstantiated, and insisted versions of events from the parties involved differed.

Cllr McNair joins the SNP as it continues to enjoy burgeoning support since the independence referendum in 2014 in which West Dunbartonshire was one of just four constituencies to return a yes vote.

In support of Marie, her new SNP colleague Councillor William Hendrie told the Post: “This aggressive behaviour attacking [from Martin Rooney] a respected female councillor is disgusting and appalling. 

“Has Martin Rooney learned nothing? Marie left the Labour Party in 2008 because they would do nothing to stop the alleged bullying and sexist behaviour directed at her by some of their members. 

“This was well documented at the time and was backed up by another female councillor.

“People are shocked at Cllr Rooney’s aggression towards her and it will backfire.”