Edinburgh Council coalition deal vetoed

The plans will be discussed today at the City Chambers
The plans will be discussed today at the City Chambers
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PLANS for an SNP-Labour coalition to run the Capital have suffered a major setback.

Labour’s Scottish executive committee (SEC) has vetoed the proposed deal for a second time, leaving Edinburgh without an administration six weeks after the local elections.

The vote on May 4 saw the SNP become the biggest party at the City Chambers with 19 seats to the Tories’ 18, Labour’s 12, the Greens’ eight and the Lib Dems’ six.

An agreement was reached within days between the SNP and Labour groups to form a joint administration.

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But the proposed deal was put on hold by Labour’s SEC amid claims the party was worried about being seen to ally itself with the SNP at the same as it was campaigning against it in the general election.

There was also opposition from local Labour activists in Edinburgh.

But it was widely expected the bar on a coalition would be lifted once the general election was out of the way.

However the SEC met again last night to consider the policy package and other details of the agreement which had been approved by both council groups.

And after a meeting lasting several hours it refused to endorse the plan.

One source said there was still a concern that even together the SNP and Labour would be one short of an overall majority on the council, casting doubt on their ability to deliver on any agreed programme.