SCOTTISH Labour have been branded “desperate” and accused of “begging” members to stand in the local elections amid claims they are attempting to “make up numbers”.

The party sent around a pleading email asking Labour members to consider putting their names and promised campaigning would not be necessary.

Members were told they would be doing Labour a “large favour”.

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The SNP have accused Labour of attempting to put forward candidates with “absolutely no ambition or intention of being elected or serving their community”.

The message was written by a party activist for the Aberdeen Central constituency branch and was seen by The Scotsman.

Gillian Martin, the SNP MSP for Aberdeenshire East, told the paper: “This is both desperate and disgraceful from Scottish Labour, who are now being forced to beg their dwindling membership to make up the numbers ahead of this year's council elections – although, it's no surprise that even their own party members are unwilling to be the face of a sinking ship.

"They are also seriously misleading the voting public by trying to field candidates who have absolutely no ambition or intention of being elected or serving their community."

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The email read: “We are primarily looking for people who will be willing for their name to go down onto the ballot and, in doing so, will allow hundreds of people to vote Labour.

"Doing anything additional as a candidate will not be a requirement.

"We are asking for a favour from you to allow many hundreds of Labour voters to be able to cast their vote across the north-east in the local elections, because if we aren't able to stand candidates across Aberdeenshire, many people will be disenfranchised.”

It goes on to claim there could be a “narrowing in the vote nationally between Labour and the Conservatives”.

Aberdeenshire Council currently only has one Labour councillor, versus the Tories’ 19 and the SNP’s 16.

A Labour spokesperson told The Scotsman: “Scottish Labour are committed to standing in communities across Scotland and giving people the chance to build a better future for their local areas.”