Council elections 2022: Nicola Sturgeon says Labour's coalition stance 'inexplicable' on campaign visit to Edinburgh

Nicola Sturgeon has said she finds Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar’s stance against council coalitions after Thursday’s elections “almost inexplicable”.

"It seems to reveal an oppositionalist mindset, that he wants to lock himself out of actually exercising power or influence at local level,” she said.

The First Minister made the comments during a campaign visit to Portobello, where she posed for selfies as she walked along the Prom. Ms Sturgeon chatted and signed frisbees, then darted down to the beach where she gate-crashed a hen party and even donned a tartan “See you Jimmy” hat.

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She was accompanied on the Sunday afternoon visit to the seaside by party activists and candidates from across the capital ahead of the May 5 vote.

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The SNP is expected to emerge once again as the biggest party in Edinburgh when the votes are counted on Friday, but a repeat of the coalition it has had with Labour in the city over the past five years is in doubt because of Mr Sarwar’s opposition to such deals.

Ms Sturgeon said it would be for the Edinburgh leadership to decide what would work best after the election. The SNP has only ruled out coalitions with the Tories.

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She said: "We’ll continue to come to arrangements locally that we deem to be in the best interests of those we serve.”

Asked about a possible SNP-Green coalition in Edinburgh to mirror her own deal with the Greens at Holyrood, she said: “You can tell I’m not averse to deals with the Greens. We have to see how the arithmetic works out.”

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First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (centre) gate-crashes a hen-party during a visit to Portobello. Photo: Lesley Martin/PA Wire
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