THE SNP are eyeing taking control of a formerly Labour and Tory run local authority in the aftermath of a successful local election campaign.

The party said it is in discussions with other parties and independents in North Lanarkshire to form an administration.

They have committed to refusing to work with the Tories and claim Labour have attempted to maintain control of the council by reaching out to the one British Unionist councillor in the area and the Tories to keep the SNP out.

Local group leader Jordan Linden said he would be willing to form a minority administration as the largest group on the council but would prefer the stability of a formal arrangement with other parties.

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The SNP group gained three seats following Thursday’s vote but are still shy of the 39 members needed to make a majority.

Linden said: “My group got straight to work on Friday following the count and we have spent the weekend in discussions with like-minded parties to see if we can come together to deliver collectively for the people of North Lanarkshire.

“That Labour - who came second - are trying to cobble together 39 councillors with the support of the Tories and the right-wing BUP is as worrying as it is disgraceful. 

“The people of North Lanarkshire are angry at Labour’s deal with the Tories for the last five years – they will be furious at the prospect of even more extreme parties being drafted in to run our local services, especially after being roundly rejected at the ballot box.

“It’s time for Labour to accept the democratic mandate that has been given once again to the SNP and work with our administration to deliver improved services locally.”

It comes after Scottish Labour were accused of contacting BUP councillor John Jo Leckie to help them form an administration by a party source who spoke to The Herald. Leckie told the paper he had been contacted though the party strenuously denied making the call.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has remained steadfastly opposed to forming coalitions with other parties and has said the party will seek to form minority administrations or work on a case-by-case basis with other parties.

The SNP won outright in Dundee and were the largest party on most local authorities. Labour regained some ground lost in recent years including taking back control of West Dunbartonshire Council with an overall majority but came second nationally.