EDINBURGH Labour have been dismissed as “a mess” by one of the SNP’s new councillors in the capital, after the first council meeting of the term adjourned after only eight minutes with no administration in place.

The first full meeting of Edinburgh’s 63 councillors following this month’s local elections would normally have confirmed a new council leader and depute leader, as well as electing a new Lord Provost and appointing councillors to various roles on boards and committees.

However, the meeting came to a speedy end after both SNP group leader Adam McVey and Labour group leader Cammy Day requested that proceedings be delayed until 26 May, allowing further time for ongoing coalition negotiations to conclude.

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While the move was not opposed by any members, Marco Biagi, the SNP’s newly elected councillor for Colinton/Fairmilehead, later tweeted: “Labour are a mess, walking away from the natural option of continuing a centre-left partnership with the SNP that has been working for ten years, because their group is too divided to continue it.”

Labour councillor Scott Arthur voiced criticism of the SNP, writing on social media: “Despite the talk of mandates, Edinburgh’s biggest party failed to table plans to lead the Council and the meeting was adjourned after just eight minutes.”

Speaking to the National, Arthur added: “There is nothing centre-left about the cuts the SNP is imposing on councils in Scotland. 

“Edinburgh is Scotland's worst funded council, and our capital needs an administration committed to resolving that.

"The SNP have messed up their chance of forming an administration, and I hope that next week Labour will be able to provide the leadership Edinburgh needs.”

SNP group leader Adam McVey struck a more diplomatic note, telling the National: “All parties agreed to defer council appointments. We’re continuing to have formal discussions with the Greens to look to form a new administration.

"There is a lot we agree on, and most our policies are also supported by other parties in the council.

“Edinburgh needs to have a clear way forward to deal with the cost of-living crisis facing so many of our residents, as well as making our capital greener and fairer as well as improving local services for residents.”

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While Labour and the SNP have run Edinburgh’s local authority together for much of the past decade, that possibility was seemingly ruled out by Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar ahead of May’s local elections, when he declared that the party would not enter into any formal coalitions.

The SNP and the Scottish Greens this week began negotiations to form a minority administration in the capital, having what McVey has described as “constructive discussions about how we can work together to implement the policies that we campaigned for and that our residents voted for.”

According to Arthur, the Edinburgh Labour group will “table a plan to take forward our capital” next week, but no details of that plan have yet been made public.