The SNP group on Argyll and Bute Council has been suspended by the party’s national executive committee after inviting new political bedfellows to join its ruling administration.
The suspension came after the council’s Liberal Democrats and Conservative groups were invited by their Nationalist colleagues to join a coalition.
The move to form the new Consensus Coalition Administration was aimed at strengthening the SNP’s position after a period of turmoil, which included the resignation of two councillors from the Nationalists party.
It also saw the Lib Dems and the Conservatives agreeing to leave their former allies, the Alliance of Independent Councillors, to work with the SNP instead.
However, the national executive has ruled the SNP council group had no right to invite new political groups into the administration without its permission.
An SNP spokesman last night said: “The policy democratically passed by the SNP’s National Council in 2007 requires our council groups to seek approval of the party’s national executive Committee before entering into formal coalition arrangements.
“The group has not followed that procedure, and therefore, as a matter of course, has been suspended in the meantime.”