A LABOUR councillor has slammed colleagues for “offering her no support” when she was “attacked” by a senior party member during a public meeting and on social media.

Alison Dowling hit out after Jim Sheridan, Labour's deputy group leader in Renfrewshire, criticised her during a meeting last month and on Facebook.

During the meeting, Councillor Sheridan said he had been “personally attacked” for “perfectly reasonable comments” he made about anti-Semitism on Twitter in 2018, which saw him suspended by the party at the time.

He accused Councillor Dowling of being “the main protagonist” behind that and slammed her for “lecturing” him on free speech.

Councillor Sheridan has now been suspended by Labour pending an investigation for a second time following his latest remarks.

His comments had been sparked by a motion Councillor Dowling lodged concerning the controversial Hate Crime Bill passed by the Scottish Government, which she felt was having a “chilling effect” on free speech.

It has also emerged Councillor Sheridan hit out at her again on the Linwood Locals Facebook page, this time appearing to criticise her for updating residents about an ongoing Scottish Power consultation.

She has now launched a scathing attack on the group’s overall leadership after Councillor Sheridan “breached conduct rules.”

Eddie Devine has been Labour group leader since 2017, while Councillor Sheridan has been deputy leader since 2019.

Councillor Dowling said: “Councillor Sheridan has publicly attacked my integrity on numerous occasions now. I know constituents share my concern, as they have contacted me to offer support and express their dismay at his conduct.

“I am disappointed the leadership of the Labour group have not reached out to me to offer support, in the face of public attacks by a male member of the senior leadership team against a female councillor, despite clear breaches of Labour Party conduct rules.

“I have the right to defend myself against ridiculous smears. However, as the matter is now in the hands of the Labour Party, I will not comment any further.”

After a meeting was held between Labour councillors and Scottish Power Energy Networks about community benefits the firm was offering during some potentially disruptive work, it is understood Councillor Dowling put out a post on Linwood Locals to update residents.

But Councillor Sheridan then posted immediately afterwards, claiming she was “breaking cross-party solidarity” after members had allegedly agreed to let officers deal with the issue.

It is not the first time a spat has broken out within the group, which has previously been described as “dysfunctional” by SNP councillors.

In 2019, Councillor Dowling and Councillor Carolann Davidson moved away from their offices in Renfrewshire House amid reports of bullying by another elected member in the group.

When approached about this latest row, Councillor Devine said: “I do not wish to comment on internal Labour Party affairs, as per the rulebook.”

Back in 2018, Councillor Sheridan was probed by the party after posting: “For almost all my adult life I have had the utmost respect and empathy for the Jewish community and their historic suffering.

“No longer due to what they and their Blairite plotters are doing to my party and the long-suffering people of Britain who need a radical Labour government.”

Councillor Sheridan was unavailable for comment when approached by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

A Scottish Labour spokesman said: “The Labour Party takes all complaints of anti-Semitism extremely seriously and they are fully investigated, in line with our rules and procedures, and any appropriate disciplinary action is taken.”