NICOLA Sturgeon has accused Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar of "political immaturity" for continuing to stand against council coalitions.

The First Minister said she couldn't understand her rival's position, adding that she was relaxed about deals between the two parties at a local level in an interview with the Daily Record.

Sarwar was interviewed by the BBC on Tuesday and reiterated his opposition to formal coalitions with the SNP and Tories in town halls despite East Renfrewshire – which is run by an SNP-Labour partnership – being named the best-performing council in Scotland by The Times.

Voters will head to the ballot box on Thursday to elect their local representatives across Scotland's 32 councils. 

Sturgeon said she suspected there was "deep unhappiness" with Sarwar's approach within local Labour groups.

She said: “It reveals I think a political immaturity but also an oppositionalist mindset.

“Surely the whole point of being in politics and being a leader in politics is you want to make a difference to people’s lives and you can’t do that in opposition.

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"I just don’t understand it and I suspect there’s a lot of deep unhappiness in his local parties across the country.

"My position is we won’t do deals with the Tories because Tories do a lot of damage to communities. Beyond that, it’s for local groups elected for the SNP to judge what is right for local circumstances.”

On whether she would be relaxed about SNP groups hooking up with Labour ones, she said: "Yes, if they thought that was right and if policies underpinning that were right.

"Edinburgh is a good example of how Labour and the SNP have managed to work together.

"I think a position that just more or less cements you into opposition is futile in politics.”

Sarwar appeared to flounder on the issue of independence during the Good Morning Scotland interview. He said there was nothing wrong with having candidates who used to support separating from the UK and don't anymore, before denying he had any involvement in the sacking of Glasgow Kelvin candidate Hollie Cameron last year

Sarwar has previously said his candidates must not back another independence referendum or the Yes campaign.

Ahead of the Scottish Parliament election, Cameron revealed she had voted Yes in the 2014 referendum before she was de-selected by Labour.