Wait goes on to discover who will run West Lothian Council

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Residents still do not know who will head West Lothian Council after the meeting to form the administration was adjourned again.

Linlithgow councillor Tom Kerr was elected as Provost in the meantime but all other positions in the council were deferred until the next meeting at 6pm on Thursday, May 25.

The two-and-a-half hour event yesterday was described as “farcical” by SNP group leader Peter Johnston, who accused Labour of “crawling into bed” with the Tories.

Labour group leader Lawrence Fitzpatrick said the party wanted to continue to be a “strong and secure” minority administration.

However, Mr Johnston hit out, he said: “To side with the party of austerity, the party of the bedroom tax and rape clause is a shocking indictment of Labour councillors who have chosen to put personal position and their narrow self-interests first, with the interests of our community nowhere. This is an outrage.”

The SNP won 13 seats at the council elections but 17 was needed to gain an overall majority, while Labour has 12, the Tories seven and one Independent.

The Nationalists said they made an approach to Labour to form a joint administration but now believe Labour councillors have made a “behind-the-scenes deal” with the Conservatives.

It comes after Labour suspended nine councillors in Aberdeen who had agreed to run a coalition alongside the Tories.

Party leader Kezia Dugdale said Labour “cannot do any deal with another party if it would result in further austerity being imposed on local communities”.

Damian Timson, West Lothian Council Conservative group leader said: “In an ideal world this would have been sorted sooner but what is important is that we get the best result for West Lothian.”