LABOUR is set to open discussions with other parties to form an administration in Scotland’s capital city but could be blocked by an order from central office.

The SNP returned as the largest party following Thursday’s vote but did not secure a majority and the party are expected to approach other left-of-centre parties to form an administration.

Labour’s leader in the city Cammy Day said the party would “start discussing with other parties what the numbers are like and who will work with us to deliver Labour’s manifesto”.

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He told The Herald that in the week leading up to the election, he had spoken to most group leaders in Edinburgh over “are they up for having a discussion”.

Day added: “We will take on board what the party’s final decision is about any arrangements and partnerships with other parties.

“We’ve increased our vote across the city, we’ve got two new councillors, we’ve now the second-biggest group in the council chamber so we will be looking to have these discussions with different parties.

“For me, it’s not a straightforward let’s work with the biggest party, it will be let’s work to see who can deliver Labour’s manifesto and get the best for the city.”

But a party source told the paper councillors would struggle to agree a deal with any other parties even before they had a chance to take it to Labour’s Scottish Executive Committee for approval.

Anas Sarwar has explicitly ruled out Labour councillors making formal coalitions with other parties but his statements have been vague enough to potentially allow more informal arrangements.

It comes after the LibDems ruled out making a deal with the SNP after their numbers doubled from six to 12.

LibDem group leader, Robert Aldridge said his party “remain open to continue our discussions with other parties”.

A deal with the SNP was ruled out, he added, because the LibDems thought the party had “learned nothing from the difficulties of the last council term and plan to simply continue with their previous approach”.

SNP leader of the council, Adam McVey, has suggested he will continue talks with Labour and the Greens over forming a new administration.

He said: “We emerged from Thursdays election as clearly the largest party, having set out a positive, progressive vision for Edinburgh with a detailed programme to improve our local services.

“We will continue talks with progressive parties about how to take forward the change Edinburgh needs to be fairer, greener and deliver the best for our residents.”