LABOUR are likely to continue as a minority administration in Inverclyde after Councillor Vaughan Jones left the party to become an independent.

Council leader Stephen McCabe says the position will be made clear before the next full meeting of the local authority on 9 October.

A report is being prepared by officials on the membership of council committees and this will be presented to the meeting.

As the largest party in the council chamber, Labour are entitled to six members on each committee but Councillor Jones’s resignation as vice-chair of the health and social care committee means the balance of the groups needs to be looked at.

Councillor McCabe said: “We intend to continue as the administration.

“We can only be removed if all the other councillors combine to vote us out at the next full council meeting.

“We would also resign if, for example, all of the other councillors got together to vote against us on a major issue, such as the budget next February.” Labour now have nine out of Inverclyde’s 20 councillors.

The others are made up of Scottish National Party (six), Liberal Democrats (two), independents (two) and Conservative (one).

Cllr McCabe said he had discussed the future make-up of the administration with some councillors outside of Labour, but had not had time yet to speak to all of them because of the referendum.

Asked if he was planning a coalition, he said: “I wouldn’t rule it out but it’s unlikely.

“It’s more likely we will continue as a minority administration, taking matters on a vote-by-vote basis, but no final decision has been made yet.

“I will be speaking to other non-Labour councillors soon.” Labour ran a previous council with nine members before going into coalition with independent Ronnie Ahlfeld and Conservative David Wilson.

They then formed the current council with 10 councillors, including Cllr Jones, who decided to leave Labour earlier this month.

Her decision came after it was revealed that she would be voting in favour of independence in the referendum.