MORAY Council will remain under SNP control until the council elections next spring after the Tories failed their takeover bid – which involved the cutting of a pack of cards.

Last week The National reported on how the Scottish Conservatives, working alongside the Moray Alliance Group of independent councillors, were hoping to seize power of the administration. The groups said the SNP no longer had enough elected members to run the council, following the resignation of Paula Coy.

The Conservative group leader Tim Eagle insisted that with the council’s budget coming up, the administration would need to be able to pass important legislation.

"We hope other councillors will recognise the benefit of having a larger group in administration. I am ready to lead the council for the remaining months with a renewed and improved focus on Moray and the services the council delivers,” he said.

A vote on the future of the council on Monday afternoon ended with 12 voting for change, and 12 voting for the status-quo.

To break the tie, representatives on each side pulled cards.

The National:

SNP council chief Graham Leadbitter spoke at the meeting remotely and was represented in person by councillor Aaron McLean, who drew a Jack of Spades.

Eagle drew a Seven of Hearts – meaning the SNP will continue to run the administration.

The exchange was broadcast in full on the council’s live webcast.