SNP says Labour deals with Tories betray voters
Labour leader Anas Sarwar has been accused of breaking a promise not to do deals with the Conservative party after sealing agreements to run a number of councils.
The SNP says deals have been done in Edinburgh, West Lothian, East Renfrewshire, South Lanarkshire, Fife, South Ayrshire and Moray. Nearly two-thirds of Labour administrations have been created because of deals with the Tories.
The SNP is calling on Mr Sarwar to “stop insulting voters” and admit he has broken his pre-election promise to not do deals with any party.
SNP MSP Rona Mackay said: “In council areas across Scotland Labour have entered into grubby backroom deals with the Tories. Anas Sarwar must stop insulting the intelligence of the people of Scotland – the least he can do is be honest about these agreements.”
Edinburgh City Council was a hotbed of political mud-slinging as Labour was ushered into office after doing a deal with the Conservatives and LibDems to kick the SNP out of power.
The Tories and Lib Dems will vote with Labour and in return they will get key “non-political” posts.
SNP group Leader Adam McVey said that Labour offering to share power with the Conservatives “beggars belief” and SNP councillor Kate Campbell appealed to Labour to think again.
“Instead of forging a right-wing coalition, tenuously bound together along constitutional lines and with dubious legitimacy, Labour could join us. An SNP-Labour-Green coalition could deliver progressive, left-wing policies and build a brighter future for our city.”
Labour, LibDem and Conservative members account for 34 of the 63 seats on the council, which would have enabled them to block the SNP-Green coalition’s policies.
Nine of Labour’s 13 councillors will take top posts in the new council, including three who were elected this month. The Lib Dems will get three roles and the Tories two.
Aside from hostility from the SNP and Greens, Labour group leader Cammy Day – who will become council leader – faced an angry response to the deal from some members of his own group.
Outgoing Council leader McVey said: “People across Edinburgh could not have more strongly rejected the Tories at the council elections but Labour are happy to override their wishes and hand the Tories power in our city.
“The Tories have inflicted over a decade of austerity on families across our city and are now responsible for a cost of living crisis which is crippling households across the country. It beggars belief that Labour would reward them for that by inviting them to share power on our council.
“Even some of Labour’s own councillors can’t stomach the backroom deal their party is happily making with the Tories.
“It is truly insulting to people across our city for Labour to try and hide the deal they are doing.
“If they are too ashamed to admit it then maybe they should reflect on that and not try to trick people into believing their spin. This is a coalition and the SNP will hold Labour, the Tories and Lib Dems to account.”