THE SNP in Glasgow say they will take the city back into local government body Cosla if they win control in May’s election.

Back in 2015, the Labour-controlled council left the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities to join the new Scottish Local Government Partnership (SLGP). At the time, the then council leader Gordon Matheson said it was an “exciting new start for local government in Scotland”.

Susan Aitken, the leader of the city’s SNP group, called the SLGP a “Labour gang of four”.

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With the elections just 50 days away, members of the SNP group have been meeting with Cosla to discuss possible re-entry.

SNP councillor David McDonald told The National: “Glasgow should be leading Scottish local government, not hiding. We were deeply disappointed when Labour ripped Glasgow out of Cosla. We were even more despondent when we saw the pale imitation of Cosla created by four Labour councils.

“The SNP in Glasgow sees the benefit of Cosla membership. Despite the potential for disagreements, and knowing not every battle will go our way, we understand that Glasgow has a pivotal role to play in leading local government in Scotland.

He added: “Labour’s short-sighted and petty decision to leave Cosla has cost Glasgow dearly, in reputation and influence. We will restore Glasgow’s place and work hard to regain the trust and respect of Scotland’s local government community.”

Earlier this month, the SNP group in Aberdeen said they too would rejoin Cosla if elected in May.

“Joining the SLGP has benefited nobody," said Stephen Flynn from the Aberdeen SNP group. "It is a talking shop for the Labour party and has not been the best method of putting forward the case for the city."

Aberdeen Labour councillor Willie Young told The National Cosla was a Scottish Government "puppet".

“It adds to cost pressure for Glasgow and Aberdeen to join Cosla," he said. "You’re speaking about half a million pounds. The SLGP costs a fraction, not even 10 per cent of that, because we’re running it ourselves.

“We think the SLGP have really held the Scottish Government to account, unlike Cosla which is just the SNP’s puppet. That’s why the SNP want to get back within Cosla. They just want to do the bidding of the Scottish Government. “ A Cosla spokesman said: “Cosla’s ambition is to have full membership and represent all 32 councils. We would welcome any of the four non members back into the Cosla fold. There is no doubt that it is better for all councils to be united and speak with the one voice.”