THE SNP group in Renfrewshire Council will form a minority administration after striking a deal with the region's only other pro-independence councillor.

In contrast to some other councils across the country where Unionist parties are forming pacts to keep out the SNP - such as in East Renfrewshire and Argyll and Bute - quite the opposite has happened in Paisley where the SNP have agreed a Confidence and Supply Deal with independent Andy Doig.

Doig quit the SNP in 2017 but has remained a Yesser and launched his own pro-independence party Scotia Future last year for the Holyrood election with former MSP Chic Brodie.

The deal will see Doig support the SNP in confidence votes and budgets while both parties have set out principles they both agree on, such as pushing for multi-year funding settlements.

SNP group leader and council leader Iain Nicolson said: “Andy and I have agreed a historic Confidence and Supply Deal to provide Renfrewshire Council with a stable government over the next five years.

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"Councillor Doig will support us on confidence votes and on budgets which will continue our work in delivering parity regarding investment for all of Renfrewshire’s towns and villages. We look forward to working on our shared priorities for Renfrewshire.

“We have set out some broad principles that we both strongly agree on, that is the need for multi-year and increased funding settlements for local government and to push for a fair and balanced method of funding for local authorities.

"However, our first priority is to continue the programme for Covid recovery and to help our people tackle the existing cost of living crisis."

The SNP secured 21 seats at the local election, two more than in 2017, as they remained the largest group and just one short of a majority. 

On policy matters outside of motions of confidence and budgets, Doig will retain the right to support, oppose or abstain on issues arising at boards and full council. 

Doig added: “In 2017 I took the view that the SNP, as the biggest group, had the right to try and form an administration, and I take that view now, and would say the same regardless of which political party was in that position.

"With my support the last SNP administration delivered on investment for Johnstone and the villages, and I want that policy of fair investment to continue. 

“Iain is totally correct, just as with Covid-19 when the Council was in a state of emergency, we must again prioritise tackling the cost-of-living crisis.

"But also, in the long term, a key part of this agreement for me is seeking to boost jobs by re-industrialising Renfrewshire in the long term to recover our manufacturing capacity. That means more jobs, and that means more prosperity."