ANAS Sarwar has been accused of “unpardonable acts of betrayal” over claims his party has done deals with Tory council groups across Scotland.

The SNP took aim at Scottish Labour for allegedly plotting several “backroom deals” to take control of local authority administrations following the May 5 elections.

Ahead of the vote, the party’s leader had vowed that no Scottish Labour groups would enter formal coalitions with other parties. The SNP had offered to work formally with other progressive parties, as they had done in several parts of Scotland before the elections.

The SNP have been angered by reports of Scottish Labour groups on several councils forming or attempting to form minority administrations that can only be achieved with the support of Conservative councillors, while stopping short of formal agreements.

Nicola Sturgeon's party has accused Labour of plotting “dirty deals” with the Tories in North Lanarkshire, South Lanarkshire, StirlingMoray and Fife.

SNP depute Leader Keith Brown said: “The people of Scotland have long memories and they will never forgive the Tories under Margaret Thatcher, who laid waste to this country’s economy, for which many are still paying the price.

“For a Scottish Labour leader to tolerate such a stitch-up with this corrupt, immoral, law-breaking Tory Party is an unpardonable act of betrayal of working-class Scots who rejected the Tories at the ballot box just two weeks ago. Anas Sarwar has shredded any last remaining integrity he has to lead Labour in Scotland.”

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The Scottish Tories endured dismal results on polling day, dropping to third place overall behind Labour. Multiple scandals at Westminster and Boris Johnson’s overwhelming unpopularity were cited as key factors for their poor performance.

The party did win control of Moray Council from the SNP after gaining three seats. They were able to form a minority administration after Labour’s three councillors abstained from a leadership vote last week, along with the two independents and one Green on the council. The SNP, who were ousted from controlling the local authority, accused Labour of helping to “usher in a Tory administration”.

Brown continued: "Scotland has not voted to put the Tories into power for 70 years – but Scottish Labour has just done exactly that. It is a shameful day for the party.

“Last year he [Sarwar] stated that, while he disagreed on the constitution, he was making a big offer to work with the SNP to make positive progress together.

“What happened to Sarwar’s promise? Was it an honest offer or was it a line out of the Boris Johnson playbook where you say whatever you like then backtrack as if you had never made such a promise in the first place.

“The people of Scotland need to know if Anas Sarwar is an honest broker – or is he Boris Johnson in disguise?”

Scottish Labour have been contacted for comment.

In South Lanarkshire, Labour took control of the council thanks to support from the Tories and the LibDems despite the SNP being returned as the largest party.

Their 27 seats were not enough to take a majority on the 64-seat council. Backed by the Tories in a crunch leadership vote, Labour formed an administration in partnership with the LibDems and an independent councillor.

SNP minister Mairi McAllan dubbed it a “sad day for democracy”.

Labour council leader Joe Fagan said: "This new administration will be a new kind of administration. Labour-led but not Labour-only.

"The basis of this administration is a partnership agreement between the Labour and Liberal Democrat groups. An agreement to which the leader of the Independent group is also a party."

According to a leaked memo seen by the Daily Record, any Labour agreements will be signed off by party chiefs. 

A note in the name of Scottish Labour general secretary James Kelly, dated May 5, explained there would “be flexibility around local agreements post-election”.

However, it said that Labour groups could not enter into arrangements without the “specific approval” of the party’s Scottish Executive Committee (SEC), and that an SEC subcommittee would consider every “post-election arrangement request”.

A Scottish Labour spokesperson told the Record: “Scottish Labour has been clear – Labour councillors will engage in no coalitions or pacts with any other parties and seek to form minority administrations.”