With Labour expected to be propped up by Tory votes in West Lothian, East Renfrewshire and Edinburgh the SNP has said that Labour councillors are rewarding the Tories with the keys to power in councils across Scotland despite Anas Sarwar’s election day appeal to voters not to reward ‘toxic, out of touch, and corrupt’ Tories with their votes. Sarwar even described Douglas Ross’s defence of Boris Johnson as “disgusting”.
Across the country, Labour are either sitting on their hands to allow the Tories to run councils or handing Tories high-profile positions in return for votes to form minority administrations.
In Stirling, Labour voted to install a Tory provost – who admitted he was ‘not a popular choice’. In South Lanarkshire, the chair of the planning committee has been taken over by a Tory councillor thanks to Labour backing. In South Ayrshire and Moray they abstained thus opening the door to Tory administrations.
Now, despite the latest damning Partygate revelations, Labour are expected to be propped up by Tory votes in West Lothian, East Renfrewshire and Edinburgh – contradicting Anas Sarwar’s claims there would be no deals with any party after the election and his party’s boast that Labour coming second in the elections would end Douglas Ross’s leadership.
Commenting, SNP MSP Michelle Thomson said: “As damning pictures emerge of the latest Partygate revelations it is appalling that Labour are not only relying on murky, backroom deals with the Tories to cling on to power, they are also rewarding Tories with the keys to high-profile roles in councils.
“So much for Anas Sarwar’s pledge of no deals and his appeal for Tories not to be rewarded with votes. Nothing Anas Sarwar now says on the cost of living crisis can be taken seriously anymore as he sits on his hands whilst the architects of this crisis are being handed positions of power across the country by Labour councillors.
“The Tories are responsible for a cost of living crisis made worse by their policy of Brexit and they should be nowhere near power in our councils. Instead, Labour are waving them through into power, all to the detriment of the people of Scotland.
“Anas Sarwar’s promise of no deals, pacts or coalitions has been proven to be completely hollow as his party does dodgy deals with the party of Partygate – a position Anas Sarwar described as ‘disgusting’.
“These alliances and deals with the Tories only expose how Scottish Labour cares more about protecting Westminster control than protecting the people of Scotland from the Tories’ cost of living crisis. Only the SNP can be trusted to tackle the cost of living crisis and to lock the Tories out of power in councils across Scotland.”
Anas Sarwar tells Scottish Labour to rule out council coalitions with SNP and Tories | Herald, 10th January 2022
…Mr Sarwar said: “My strong view, and this is a discussion we will have with our colleagues in local government and also with the Scottish Executive Committee, is I don’t think we should be doing pacts or deals or coalitions…
On election day Anas Sarwar had a feature in the Record on election day saying: “Don't reward toxic, out of touch, corrupt Tory Party with your vote”. He also strenuously described Douglas Ross’s position on defending Boris Johnson as ‘disgusting’.
On 14 April 2022 Scottish Labour also crowed that by coming second they could finish Douglas’s Ross’s leadership:
Scottish Labour will do “backroom deals” with the SNP when council voting closes, Scottish Tory leader Douglas Ross has said...
...A spokesman for Scottish Labour said: … “Perhaps the reason deals are on Mr Ross’s mind is because he knows he’ll be fighting for his political life come May 6 and he hopes that having kissed the ring, Downing Street will save him. They won’t”.