A FIFE councillor has quit the Labour Party in protest after the decision to "parachute" Melanie Ward in as the candidate for the Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy seat in next month's general election. 

Julie MacDougall resigned and made the announcement through a four minute video posted to Facebook, claiming that she couldn’t support the direction the party has taken. 

“This has not been an easy decision nor one which I have taken lightly, but my hand has been forced,” she said. 

Cllr MacDougall criticised the party for parachuting Ms Ward, who is based in London, into the contest to represent the area. 

It's the latest controversy to dog the party as the original Labour candidate, Wilma Brown, was dropped after she shared "dozens" of racist and offensive tweets. 

Ms Ward, who is the CEO of Medical Aid for Palestinians, is based in London. The Labour party pointed out that she previously stood for election in 2015, for the Glenrothes seat, which was won by Peter Grant for the SNP. 

Cllr MacDougall insisted the move was “disrespectful and insulting” and said: “It is no secret that candidates are being imposed on members and constituents in a non-democratic, autocratic manner which I simply cannot support.” 

“Our local area is being denied the opportunity to have a local candidate and in my opinion this is not acceptable.” 

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Cllr MacDougall was elected to represent the Burntisland, Kinghorn and Western Kirkcaldy ward in May 2022. She followed in the footsteps of her late father, John MacDougall, who was a former Rosyth Dockyard worker, respected Fife Labour MP and leader of Fife Council. 

“I know he would have been thoroughly disappointed at what has been happening, particularly here in Fife,” Cllr MacDougall said.

“I have lost faith in the Labour Party and do not believe it is practising what it preaches while upholding its core values.” 

She continued: “I grew up with true Labour values – to always speak up when things are not right – and the Cowdenbeath and Kirkcaldy constituency Labour now have a non-democratically chosen candidate who doesn’t reside in Fife.” 

Cllr MacDougall has resigned from the party but went on: “I want to assure the public that I will continue my duties, fully representing the people of Fife openly and with the care and compassion people deserve until the end of my term.

“I am privileged to serve the communities I represent and I will continue to serve with honesty and integrity – committed and dedicated to my role.”