AN EAST Lothian Labour Party candidate in tomorrow's (Thursday) East Lothian Council election has had party support withdrawn over social media posts.

Student Ruaridh Bennett was standing for Scottish Labour in Musselburgh.

However, it is understood that complaints over historic tweets by the candidate were raised with Scottish Labour and sparked the decision to withdraw support.

Despite the decision, Mr Bennett, 24, will still appear on the ballot papers as a Labour candidate, as the announcement was made too late to change it, and people will not be informed of the change ahead of casting their votes.

A spokesperson for East Lothian Council said: “The elections team were notified by the Labour Party agent that the party support had been withdrawn.

“If he [Mr Bennett] has the votes, he would still be elected but would be as an independent.”

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There is no obligation on polling station staff to inform voters of the change and the East Lothian Labour Party’s website has not been updated to acknowledge the change.

Mr Bennett’s Twitter page has been taken down and no longer exists.

The decision to withdraw support is a blow to the minority Labour administration’s campaign to return to power in East Lothian.

The party had only fielded 10 candidates across all six East Lothian wards, despite needing a minimum of 11 to be elected to take overall control of the council – now the party can only achieve a maximum of nine councillors.

Labour leaflets handed out in Musselburgh had urged voters to give first-time candidate Mr Bennett their first vote and veteran Labour councillor Andrew Forrest, who is defending his seat, their second vote on the ballot slip.

Both the Scottish Labour Party and East Lothian Labour Party have been approached to comment.