LABOUR are attempting to cling onto power in a council they ran with the SNP for five years by teaming up with other Unionist parties, it has been claimed.

The Fife Labour group said it had been subject to “Holyrood interference” by the local SNP leader.

David Alexander, SNP councillor for Leven, Kennoway and Largo, said “without a doubt” there had been “backroom deals” between Unionist parties to allow Labour to remain in power, despite suffering their worst ever result in the former stronghold.

Alexander said the party had teamed up with the LibDems, who hold 13 seats, to lock the SNP – the largest group on the council – out of power.

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The two parties signed a power-sharing agreement after the local elections five years ago and ruled jointly until the poll earlier this month.

Alexander told The National: “The only thing that’s changed between [2017] and now is Holyrood interference.

“We’ve had the best ever result in Fife council, Labour’s had the worst.

“They’re now trying to take control in Fife, helped by some useful friends, i.e. the LibDems and Tories.

“I would imagine if [the LibDems] have not done a deal with us, they’ve done a deal with Labour.

“I have no doubt at all Labour have talked to the Tories, but for obvious political reasons that’ll be kept under cover.”

He expected the Tories to vote for Labour’s proposal to form a minority administration in Fife.

Speaking to Fife Today, Labour group leader David Ross said: “We believe that a Labour minority administration that will listen and take account of the views of others, is the best way forward for Fife.

“We believe a Labour administration offers the most positive vision for Fife and the best prospect of standing up to the centralisation and cuts to council funding from the SNP Scottish Government.

“Whether we like it or not, the proportional representation system we work under means that if no party gains a majority of seats, then they have to seek support from others to form an administration.

“If we gain the support of a majority of councillors then we will form the administration. If not then we will go into opposition.”

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Ross told the paper there was “no basis for an arrangement with the SNP … so, we will simply be giving the Council a choice between a Labour or an SNP minority administration”.

But an SNP source told the Daily Record Labour’s plans were nothing less than a “Unionist coalition”.

They added: “As we are seeing all over Scotland, the Better Together alliance is pulling out all the stops to lock us out of administration which the people of Fife elected us to lead.”