THE SNP have called on Anas Sarwar to admit he has broken his pre-election pledge against coalitions, following the seizure of Edinburgh City Council by a Labour administration backed by Tory and LibDem votes.

The new minority administration won out over a planned SNP-Green coalition by 32 votes to 29, receiving unanimous backing from LibDem and Tory councillors, while two Labour councillors abstained.

Further Labour dissent had been voiced the prior evening, with Labour MSP Mercedes Villalba stating on social media: "No Labour representative worth the name would ever put Tories in power.”

Nevertheless, Edinburgh Labour group leader Cammy Day claimed during Thursday’s meeting that there had been “no deals with any party”, which was met with widespread laughter.

Following the vote, Edinburgh Green Group co-convener Claire Miller told The National: “I’m obviously disappointed that our proposal for a council administration was not successful today, as I am confident that we have created a well thought through agreement which would deliver on the climate emergency and the cost-of-living crisis. 

“However, Greens will continue to work constructively in the council, as we always have done, and I have already spoken to Cammy to congratulate him and offer to meet. I will be looking closely at the detail as it emerges on what Labour will actually implement, and will be pushing them for full transparency on their administration.”

Also responding, erstwhile Edinburgh Council leader and SNP group leader Adam McVey wrote on Twitter: “The Lab/Tory/Lib coalition is held together by nothing but a burning hatred for the SNP & a carve up of jobs.

“We will keep our focus on delivering the change needed for Edinburgh & will hold this right-wing coalition to account.”

Response from elsewhere in the SNP was similarly condemnatory. SNP MP Tommy Sheppard described Labour’s “backroom deal with the Tories” as “unforgivable”, while Health Secretary Humza Yousaf wrote on Twitter: “I thought Scot Labour couldn’t sink any lower, but they’ve found the bottom of the barrel. People won’t forget & certainly won’t forgive.”

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions in place of Nicola Sturgeon, deputy first minister John Swinney asked: “When Anas Sarwar told the country on May 5 "don’t reward the toxic out of touch corrupt Tory party with your vote", what is the Labour party now doing?  

“The Labour Party is rewarding the toxic, out of touch, corrupt Tory party with jobs in West Lothian Council and at Edinburgh City Council.

“The Labour Party and the Tory party working together – vote Labour, get Tory.”

With two thirds of the Labour administrations in Scotland now only in existence thanks to Tory votes, SNP MSP Rona Mackay also commented: “In council areas across Scotland Labour have entered into grubby backroom deals with the Tories. Anas Sarwar must stop insulting the intelligence of the people of Scotland - the least he can do is be honest about these agreements.

The National:

“Sarwar needs to own up - he has broken a key election promise that his party would not enter into any deal with any party, but instead Labour have been working hand in hand with the Tories and offering them powerful positions in Scotland’s councils.”

The new administration was however welcomed by a range of Unionist politicians, with Scottish Lib Dem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton tweeting: “The SNP have just lost control of the City of Edinburgh council. They have failed our capital for the last time.”

Tory MSP Jeremy Balfour also wrote: “Delighted to see Labour, Conservative and LibDem councillors working together to repair some of the damage done by the previous SNP administration I can only imagine the state the city would have been in had the SNP/Green coalition been voted in.”