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SNP set to take charge at Perth and Kinross Council

The SNP group following their win at Perth and Kinross Council
The SNP group following their win at Perth and Kinross Council

The SNP say they are preparing to form a minority administration at Perth and Kinross Council after winning the largest share of seats at the local election.

SNP councillors do not have enough for an outright majority – but when the official vote to form the administration is held on May 25, the four independent councillors will support them.

It is understood the Conservatives were “interested” in forming a coalition themselves, but failed to get enough support from the other parties.

‘Sufficient support’ for the SNP

Councillor Grant Laing has been re-elected as leader of the SNP group in Perth and Kinross, with Councillor Eric Drysdale as the deputy leader.

Councillor Laing said he now has the agreement of the other parties to take the helm at the council, and take up the £39,148 a year position of council leader.

Councillor Grant Laing.

He said: “I am pleased to be able to confirm that, following discussions with other elected members, sufficient support has been obtained to allow the SNP to form a minority administration.

“Whilst there is not a desire for a coalition administration, a majority of councillors have acknowledged that as the largest group, the SNP has the right to have the opportunity to form the new administration in line with the election result.”

The four independents who were elected have decided to form an official group of their own at the council.

They said the group will not enter a coalition with the SNP.

Conservatives ‘interested’ in coalition

Labour won two seats at the election, doubling their result in Perth and Kinross at the 2017 election.

But Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar ruled out the prospect of his party members forming coalitions.

The two Labour councillors are going to abstain from voting on the final make-up of the council administration on May 25.

This means the threshold for winning the vote to form the ruling administration is lowered from 21 to 20 – and with 16 SNP councillors and four independents, this should hold.

If they get support for that at council later this month, we will work with our colleagues on the other side of the Chamber to form an effective and constructive opposition.

– Conservative group leader John Duff.

Councillor Peter Barrett from the Lib Dems said his party was wary of entering into a formal partnership with the Conservatives after a previous coalition in 2017 proved “unsustainable”.

Scottish Conservative group leader John Duff said: “While we are continuing to explore an alliance with other councillors and parties we feel we could work with, the SNP group has announced its decision to try and form a minority administration on Perth and Kinross Council.

“If they get support for that at council later this month, we will work with our colleagues on the other side of the Chamber to form an effective and constructive opposition.”

SNP becomes largest party on Perth and Kinross council

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