THE SNP have said Douglas Ross’s “endorsement” of Scottish Labour showed Keir Starmer’s party “cannot be trusted” to govern in the interests of Scotland.

The Scottish Conservative called for the anti-SNP vote to employ tactical voting methods and back whichever candidate was best placed to beat Humza Yousaf’s party.

The SNP have said this amounted to an “endorsement” for Scottish Labour from the Tories.

The party pointed to the “grubby backroom deals” made between the parties in the wake of the most recent council elections, in which Labour and Conservative councillors backed each other to bar the SNP from power in a number of local authorities.

READ MORE: Douglas Ross's tactical voting call 'emphatically' rejected by Tory Party

Keith Brown, the SNP’s depute leader, said: “It shows just how little difference there is between the Tories and the pro-Brexit Labour party that Douglas Ross is willing to endorse them instead of his own party.

“The Tories and Labour cannot help but tune up the Better Together band again. Keir Starmer has taken Labour so far to the right that they are now just a pale imitation of the Tories - backing Brexit, supporting brutal austerity and attacking devolution.

“The people of Scotland are all too familiar with Labour making grubby backroom deals with the Tories. Just last year despite Anas Sarwar claiming there would be ‘no deals, no coalitions’ his party made deals with the Tories to cling on to power in Scotland’s council chambers.

“Labour has done it before and they will do it again. That is why they cannot be trusted to stand up for the best interests of the people of Scotland.

“Do not give the Tories what they want at the next general election. The only party offering real change for the people of Scotland is the SNP.”

Ross found himself at odds with his bosses in London after telling the Sunday Telegraph anti-SNP voters should back Scottish Labour if they were better placed to beat the party in some seats.

A Tory spokesperson said: “This is emphatically not the view of the Conservative Party.

“We want people to vote for Conservative candidates wherever they are standing as that’s the best way to keep Labour and the SNP out.”

Ross had told the Sunday Telegraph: “If parties maybe look beyond their own narrow party agenda and do what’s best for the country and for me as Scottish Conservative leader what would be best is if we see this grip that the SNP have on Scotland at the moment is loosened.”