THE Scottish National Party was accused yesterday at the Labour

conference of collaborating with Militant to break Labour's grip in

Glasgow. The claim provoked a bitter row as the SNP denied the charges.

Mr Stewart Maclennan, the vice-chairman of Pollok constituency Labour

party -- who failed to hold a district council seat against Scottish

Militant Labour leader Tommy Sheridan -- said he had no doubt the SNP

had put up token fights in by-election contests in the city to give

Militant ''a clear road.''

He claimed that leading figures in the SNP had endorsed Militant.

Later, new Scottish general secretary Jack McConnell supported his

charges saying: ''We believe that SNP and Militant are working

hand-in-hand in Glasgow and that they are motivated by hostility to the

Labour Party.

''Our job is to prove to the people who have considered voting for SNP

and Militant that our opposition to the Tories is more effective and in

the longer term more likely to produce results.''

Mr Chris McLean, director of communications for the SNP, said: ''These

claims are a load of absolute garbage. They have no evidence for these

accusations whatever.

''Militant is a Mark-2 Labour Party and committed to the British State

as are Labour.

''We face regional council by-elections and we intend to win. Militant

have no chance. We intend to see them off just like Labour themselves.''

The row broke after Mr Maclennan told delegates: ''We know all about

Militant in Glasgow Pollok. For years, we have put up with their deceit

, thuggery, financial fiddling and packing of meetings. We faced up to

it, dealt with it and did them in.

''The new form of deceit isn't Militant but Scottish Militant Labour,

endorsed by leading figures in the SNP who pulled out of seats to give a

free run to Militant.

''There is co-operation between senior figures in the SNP and Scottish

Militant Labour. The thing they have in common is that they hate the

Labour Party in Scotland a lot more than the Tories do.''

Later Mr Maclennan said: ''What I am saying is that there is strong

common interest in both for collaboration.''