West Lothian Council has fallen under the control of Labour after the party received Tory support which allowed them to outvote the SNP.
The SNP ended up the largest party after the recent local elections with thirteen councillors, one ahead of Labour on twelve. However the Labour group have now formed an administration after receiving the support of the seven strong Conservative group and one independent councillor. One Labour councillor is believed to have abstained.
Despite officially a minority administration, critics are claiming Labour has formed an effective alliance with the Conservatives. It is claimed that in return for backing Labour, the Conservatives have either the Chair or Vice Chair on every one of the council’s committees.
The de-facto coalition follows a refusal by Labour’s Scottish Executive to allow the local Labour group to form an official alliance with the Conservatives. During the local authority campaign Scottish Labour pledged not to form any alliances with other parties deemed pro-austerity.
Labour recently expelled its entire Aberdeen council group after it formed an alliance with the Conservatives. The Aberdeen Labour group refused to honour the party’s pre-election pledge.
The SNP is in opposition in Aberdeen, Argyll and Bute, Angus, Moray and North Lanarkshire even though it is the biggest party on the council.