Labour in power at West Lothian Council

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Labour are to run West Lothian Council as a minority administration despite having fewer councillors than the SNP.

It comes after Scottish Labour’s ruling executive rejected proposals for a formal coalition with the Conservatives.

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.

Conservative Linlithgow councillor Tom Kerr has already been elected as Provost. Labour group leader Lawrence Fitzpatrick said last week the party wanted to continue to be a “strong and secure” minority administration.

However SNP group leader Peter Johnston accused Labour of “crawling into bed” with the Tories.

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.”