Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Edinburgh council leader Adam McVey to take adoption leave

Adam McVey Image copyright Alamy

The leader of Edinburgh's council and his partner are set to become first-time dads after adopting two boys.

Adam McVey is believed to be one of the first local authority leaders to take adoption leave.

The SNP councillor said he was "very excited" at the prospect of becoming a father later this month.

Councillor McVey, Edinburgh's youngest ever council leader, is taking a six-week break from his council duties before returning in October.

He said: "I'm very excited that my family is expanding later this month as we become dads for the first time to two amazing boys.

"I'll soon be taking adoption leave to start the hardest and most rewarding job I'll ever have."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr McVey became Edinburgh's youngest ever council leader in 2017 at the age of 30

Mr McVey, who is from Paisley and has been a councillor since 2012, added: "I'm acutely aware of my duty to the people of Edinburgh and I look forward to returning to City Chambers to continue delivering the change our future generations demand of us.

"In the meantime, I'll be asking the council to approve cover arrangements while I'm on six weeks of adoption leave to cover my responsibilities."

As councillors are not employees of their local authorities they do not automatically qualify for statutory adoption leave, which can last up to 52 weeks.

Some councils, including Edinburgh and Midlothian, have moved to clarify the parental leave situation for councillors in recent years.

'More progressive'

In England a 2017 study found just 4% of local councils have a formal maternity, paternity or parental leave policy in place for councillors.

No decision has been taken yet as to who will temporarily take over running of the council.

A spokesman for council umbrella body Cosla said: "We have produced draft guidelines which include adoption leave for councillors but also maternity, paternity, and shared parental leave.

"We are consulting widely within the local government family on this at present with a view to reporting to Cosla's political leadership.

"Importantly it will be for individual councils to decide what's right for them and to determine their own guidelines."

Depute council leader and Labour group leader, councillor Cammy Day, said: "I'm really pleased for Adam and his partner - it's fantastic news.

"Local government in general should catch up and look at what Edinburgh is doing in being more progressive and leading the way for people to be able to do this more easily.

"I will be really pleased to take over the reins as depute leader for that period."