A second Labour councillor in South Lanarkshire has been criticised by ethics watchdogs for leaking confidential information “for political gain”.

The Standards Commission for Scotland censured Monique McAdams for a Facebook post about potential leisure service cuts under the council’s previous SNP administration.

Ms McAdams admitted posting the information two days before the Holyrood election, in which she was Labour’s candidate in SNP-held East Kilbride.

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Noting the timing, the Commission said it “was satisfied that Cllr McAdams posted the information, at least in part, for personal and political gain”.

It said the leak could have affected council officers dealing with the fall-out and “caused undue and unnecessary concerns” about facilities being closed before any final decisions.

But it also noted the breach of the Councillor’s Code of Conduct was a “one-off incident” and Cllr McAdams “had been encouraged by her group leader to disclose the information”.

Her group leader, Joe Fagan, who became council leader in 2022, was suspended by the Commission for two months in June for leaking similar material a few days earlier.

The finding comes as Labour tries to promote itself in South Lanarkshire as the party votes can trust in the Rutherglen & Hamilton West by-election.

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The panel which heard Ms McAdams’s case agreed it had been legitimate for the council to have kept the material confidential until final decisions were made. 

“It was not in dispute that, on 4 May 2021, Cllr McAdams posted information relating to the potential closure of certain leisure facilities in the area on her Facebook page. 

“Having reviewed all the available evidence, the Panel was satisfied that it was clear that not only was the information confidential at the time Cllr McAdams posted it on her Facebook page, but that she should have been aware of this. 

“The Panel noted that the disclosure had been made in the days immediately before the Scottish Parliament election on 6 May 2021, at which Cllr McAdams was standing. 

“The Panel was satisfied that Cllr McAdams posted the information, at least in part, for personal and political gain.

“The Panel noted, nevertheless, that the breach had been a one-off incident and that Cllr McAdams had been encouraged by her group leader to disclose the information. 

“The Panel further noted that there was no attempt to conceal the disclosure. In the circumstances, the Panel concluded that a censure was an appropriate sanction.” 

Cllr Fagan represents East Kilbride Central North and Cllr McAdams East Kilbride West.

Panel chair Suzanne Vestri noted: “The Panel was disappointed to note that Cllr McAdams had disclosed the information, despite the clear confidentiality provisions contained in the Code, which stated that information provided to councillors for use in that role must not be disclosed or in any way used for personal or party-political advantage.” 

Scottish Labour declined to comment.