Labour’s national body has rejected an alliance with the Conservatives and independents at Aberdeen City Council, paving the way for the SNP to form a minority administration in Aberdeen today.
Talks had been under way between the Tories, Labour and independents to form a minority rainbow coalition but Labour’s National Executive Committee at a meeting last night ruled out the partnership.
Despite the national ruling, it is understood the local Aberdeen Labour group was meeting today and one option being discussed was defying their national bosses in order to join a ruling administration.
A Scottish Labour spokesman told the Evening Express: “Labour’s approach has been clear and consistent: we cannot do any deal with another party if it would result in further austerity being imposed on local communities.
“A panel of the Scottish Executive Committee of the Labour Party, made up of trade union representatives, local party representatives and the leadership, took the decision to reject a proposed deal in Aberdeen, which would have involved the Labour group being a minority partner in coalition with the Tory group.
“This proposed coalition would still have fallen short of a working majority on Aberdeen City Council.
“Labour councillors in Aberdeen will stand up for the local community by fighting against Tory attempts to drive down living standards and will not be distracted by campaigning for a divisive second independence referendum.”
Councillor Douglas Lumsden, Conservative group leader, said he was “disappointed”.
He added: “[I’m] disappointed if that is the case but we just have to move forward and do what is best for the city.”
The move by Labour leaves Aberdeen’s SNP group as the largest party at the local authority – with 19 councillors with 23 needed for a majority.
SNP leader Stephen Flynn said: “The people of Aberdeen spoke on May 4 and put their faith in the SNP.
“Despite valiant attempts it appears the Labour Party in Glasgow has more sense than the Labour Party in Aberdeen. The Tory party are toxic and if they end up in coalition it will be the end of them in Aberdeen.”