THE SNP is to take charge at Moray Council after the previous Tory-Independent coalition fell apart.

Councillors unanimously backed the change at a meeting today.

The vote came two weeks after the previous Tory team walked away from independent allies. That decision followed a row over the local authority’s management structure and modernisation strategies.

It also came after ex-council leader George Alexander claimed the authority could slide into bankruptcy by next year, blaming Holyrood funding decisions.

Councillor Graham Leadbitter will now lead the administration, with Councillor Shona Morrison as convenor – the first woman to hold the post.

Following the vote, Leadbitter said: “It is an honour and a privilege to be elected as a councillor to serve my community and it is a further honour and privilege to be this council’s leader.

“We are an administration in a region that has an enormous amount to shout about and we will do that shouting. This is an exceptional place to live and work and we will be positive about Moray, positive about our council and positive about the future that it is our job to shape.”

Morrison commented: “I am honoured to be elected as Convener of Moray Council, and I am especially proud to be the first woman in Moray to hold this post. I look forward to representing Moray.”