THE SNP have urged Anas Sarwar not to wreck a council agreement that is protecting households from "devastating Tory cuts".

Dumfries and Galloway Council is being run by an SNP-Labour-led administration despite Sarwar’s pledge he would not do any deals with Nicola Sturgeon’s party in the lead-up to the local elections.

The arrangement shut out the Conservatives from power after they won the most seats in the area.

But Sarwar has insisted it is an “interim” arrangement and “not for the duration of the entire council term.”

His remarks have sparked controversy and South Scotland MSP Emma Harper has written to the Scottish Labour leader to urge him to think again.

In her letter, she expressed confusion about the Labour's aversion to the agreement while they continue to endorse deals with the Tories in several councils across Scotland.

She added she “struggled to understand” why the party seemed so “bizarrely” fearful of working with the SNP given they have a cooperation agreement with Plaid Cymru in Wales.

In her letter she said: “I am writing to you in good faith to urge you to not ruin the arrangements between the SNP, Labour and independent councillors in Dumfries and Galloway council which is protecting households in the area from devastating Tory cuts.

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“In the previous council term, we had an SNP and Labour coalition and, while there were of course challenges as is the case in any coalition, it worked well for the people of Dumfries and Galloway.

“I am (and I’d imagine many others are too) mystified as to why the Labour party is threatening the longevity of the agreement whilst endorsing deals with the Tories in several councils across Scotland.

“Further to this, I struggle to understand why Labour only seem fearful of any working with the SNP - given they have a cooperation agreement with Plaid Cymru in Wales.

The National: Emma Harper MSPEmma Harper MSP

“My concerns for the future of Dumfries and Galloway Council's SNP-Labour led administration have become stronger as it appears that every day Labour is adopting Conservative policies - despite claims to be an alternative to the toxic Tories. 

“It seems to me that Labour believes that their councillor teams should prop up Tory administrations rather than working with the SNP to tackle poverty and support measures which help the people of Scotland.”

In Edinburgh, Labour turned on their former coalition partners in the capital by blocking the SNP from forming an administration and instead worked with LibDem and Tory councillors to form a minority administration.

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Labour also installed themselves in a minority administration in Fife with the support of Tory and LibDem elected members despite winning just 20 seats – the party’s worst-ever result in their former stronghold.

Sarwar’s party have also helped the Tories into power in South Ayrshire and Moray.

Harper said in her letter she was also concerned about Labour’s support for Brexit, their “unyielding support” for Westminster control which is undermining Scotland’s devolution settlement and their “Trump-like” denial of democracy in Scotland.

She added: “The Labour party is an utter shambles – they are too busy becoming a parody of the Tories to see the devastating consequences this will have for people across Scotland.

“The cooperation agreement in Dumfries and Galloway council is protecting local people as much as it can from toxic Westminster cuts, yet the Labour leadership seems intent on destroying it because of some bizarre fear of the SNP.

 “I am seriously concerned for the future of this agreement given that it feels like Labour is adopting a new Tory policy every day – blocking Scotland’s return to the EU, denying Scotland’s democratic choice of an independent future, defending Westminster’s erosion of devolution and endorsing toxic Westminster cuts.

“People across Scotland deserve far better than damaging Westminster parties – that are becoming indistinguishable - and that’s why they voted to have a choice of a better future as an independent country.”

Scottish Labour have been approached for comment.