SCOTTISH Labour has been accused of doing a backroom deal with the Tories in order to take control of one Scots council – despite the SNP having won the most seats.

The SNP won 36 seats on North Lanarkshire Council at the May 5 elections, four more than the Labour Party managed.

However, the Scottish Labour group has announced that it will seek to form a minority administration on the council, putting the proposal to the 77-seat chamber next week.

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

Even if Labour had the support of the Greens (one councillor), the British Unionist Party (one councillor), and the independents (two councillors), they would only match the SNP on 36 and fall short of a majority.

The support of the Tories’ five councillors is therefore necessary for Labour to take control of the council.

The Labour group has denied any “intention to enter into coalition with any party”, something their party leader Anas Sarwar had previously ruled out.

The SNP’s Marcus Carslaw responded to the Labour announcement: “Translation: we have done a backroom deal with the Conservatives.” 

The party’s Westminster group leader Ian Blackford added: “Same old story of better together, Labour and Tory working together.”

The North Lanarkshire SNP group wrote on Twitter: “North Lanarkshire Labour here are confirming that they will ignore that the SNP won and became the largest party on the council.

“But even worse – they will try to cling on to power with the backing of the BUP and Tories.

“Really @AnasSarwar? Time for #CHANGENL2022”

Jordan Linden, the SNP group leader, added: “Disappointed but unsurprised by this statement from North Lanarkshire Labour.

“Despite @theSNP offering broad working across the council, minus the Tories and BUP – Labour are ignoring this and now appear to be determined to rely on their support to form an administration.”

In contrast, the Scottish Labour group on Midlothian Council has said it will look to the SNP to “take the lead” after the party won more seats at the elections.

The Labour group (on seven) has one fewer Midlothian councillor than the SNP (on eight), and has deferred despite the fact that a similar backroom deal with the Tories would allow them to form a minority administration.

Scottish Labour have been approached for comment.