IAN Blackford has compared Scottish Labour and the Tories to “two bald men fighting over a comb” after Douglas Ross’s party slipped into third place at the Scottish council elections.

The SNP Westminster leader said the increase in Scottish Labour votes at the local elections was due to “the collapse” of the Scottish Tories.

He said that despite winning the second most seats in Scottish councils, Anas Sarwar’s party had their second-worst local authority vote in Scotland on record.

BBC Breakfast’s Naga Munchetty asked the MP: “How concerned are you about Labour’s gains? Because there wasn’t a total gravitational pull towards the SNP by voters. Many went to Labour, Labour regaining the spot as the second-largest party in Scotland now.

READ MORE: These are the winners and losers of every council election in Scotland

“Why do you think the voters went there and not the SNP?”

Blackford replied: “The party that had the biggest increase in seats and the biggest increase in its vote was the SNP.

"What we saw further down in the batting order if you like is that Labour has replaced the Tories in second place. It’s like two bald men fighting over a comb, if you will.

“Actually this is Labour’s second-worst result in local authority elections in Scotland over the course of the last 50 years. I congratulate them on picking up the seats that they’ve won but in essence, this is just a reflection on what is the collapse of the Tory vote.”

Blackford said he was “delighted the people up and down Scotland have put their trust in [the SNP] once again”.

The SNP picked up 22 new seats in the Scottish council elections for a total of 453 while Labour came in second with 20 more seats for a total of 282. Tories meanwhile suffered heavy losses, dropping 63 councillors for a total of 214.

The LibDems and Greens also saw gains, landing 87 councillors (up 20) and 35 (up 16) respectively.

The Tories also suffered losses in England, with Labour in London and the LibDems in southern areas taking seats from the Conservatives.

Blackford was asked about how the council elections impacted independence, with the politician saying it enshrined the mandate gained from the Scottish Parliament elections.

He said over the course of the next few months the Scottish Government will release papers that will “explore all the issues we need to discuss with the people of Scotland on Scotland’s future for our vision of an independent country”.

The SNP MP was also asked whether Keir Starmer should resign as Labour leader if he is found to have broken lockdown rules.

READ MORE: Tories suffer blow in Edinburgh as party slips from second to fifth

Blackford said it was too early to say what should happen to the Labour leader but added there should be “sanctions” for anyone who breaks the law.

"There has to be sanctions for people who break the law, but we’re not talking about that yet – let’s wait and see what happens with that investigation,” he said.

“If there are issues for Keir Starmer to answer, then he should do so.”

He went on to say the Labour leader will have to “take his own actions, take his own consequences”, if found to have broken the law, but added: “The only man that’s been found guilty, as we sit here today, that is Boris Johnson.”