THE SNP have called for Scottish Labour’s leader to “categorically rule out” any pacts with the Tories in this year’s council elections.

SNP MSP Jackie Dunbar said Anas Sarwar cannot be taken seriously if he “props up” Tories in council chambers across Scotland.

She highlighted the case of the “Aberdeen Nine” which involved Labour councillors in the city who decided to form an administration with 11 Conservatives without approval from their executive in 2017, locking the SNP out of power.

Then Labour leader Kezia Dugdale gave them an ultimatum to back down – but they refused and were suspended.

The issue rumbled on until last year when the councillors were given the go-ahead to stand as candidates in the local elections in 2022.

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Labour also controversially formed a minority administration in North Lanarkshire in 2017 with support from Conservative members and an independent.

The leader of the SNP members – who were the largest group – described it as “quite clearly a Labour and Tory stitch-up”.

Aberdeen Donside MSP Dunbar said: “This year, Scottish Labour have a duty to lock the Tories out of power in Scotland’s councils. It’s time for Scottish Labour’s actions to match their rhetoric.  “Anas Sarwar thinks he talks a good game when it comes to tackling Westminster austerity, but he can’t be taken seriously if he props up the Tories in council chambers across Scotland.

“He should be committing his party to work with progressives – not stitching up backroom deals with the Tories.

“The SNP will set out our prospectus for the council elections in the coming weeks but have a strong record of delivering – giving fair funding to enable the lowest council tax of any GB nation.”

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She added: “The people of Scotland have resoundingly rejected the Tories since the 1950s. The SNP categorically rule out propping up a Tory administration in any of Scotland’s 32 local authorities.

“It’s time any days of Unionist pacts are consigned to the dustbin of history.”

A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: “Scottish Labour have been clear that we will not be doing any pacts or deals ahead of this election.

“We are focused on the issues that matter – not playing petty political games. We will keep fighting for every vote in every part of Scotland.”