The National:

SCOTTISH Labour will not be making any formal coalitions with anyone, Anas Sarwar declared ahead of the local elections in 2022.

The pledge proved about as valuable as one from his boss Keir Starmer, who has shown himself willing to renege on promise after promise.

And now, one of Labour’s flagship councils has seemingly admitted that it actually is a coalition after all.

Edinburgh, where the party clings on to power despite having just 12 of the 63 seats, has a Labour minority propped up with votes from the LibDems (who actually have MORE councillors at 13) and the Tories (who have nine).

The embarrassment of having to vote through a LibDem budget in February didn’t phase Edinburgh Council’s Labour leader Cammy Day, who now seems to have tacitly admitted that he is in a coalition after all.

Don’t tell Sarwar.

The sly admission came in an “emergency motion by the administration” highlighted by the SNP group (who incidentally have 18 councillors).

The administration’s motion, filed on June 22, was a pretty routine thing which aimed to cancel the full council meeting planned for August 3.

But the devil is in the detail.

As the SNP group pointed out, the “motion by the administration” was proposed by Robert Aldridge, who is a LibDem councillor.

Quite how a LibDem can put forward a motion for the administration without being a part of the administration remains unexplained.

Edinburgh SNP tweeted: “A VERY rare moment of honesty from the Labour/Tory/LibDem administration that after 14 months of denial they’re now admitting they’re in coalition together.”

Aldridge is also Edinburgh council’s Lord Provost – Labour had to buy their support with something.

Will Scottish Labour keep denying they have any formal coalitions? Almost certainly.

After all, in May 2022, Sarwar said: “There is not a single coalition with the SNP or the Tories in any part of Scotland.”

Except, of course, there was in Dumfries and Galloway.

That has now fallen through, with SNP council leader Stephen Thompson stepping down after he failed to get his own party’s budget through.

If only Labour's Cammy Day had the same resolve.