THE new leadership at Scotland's biggest council is to rejoin the local government fold, marking a break with the previous regime in its first day in office.

Glasgow’s SNP administration has applied for membership of Cosla, three years after the city council under Labour staged a bitter split to form a breakaway group.

In an immediate attempt to put its own stamp on the authority and create distance from its recent past, the new council leader Susan Aitken has written to the organisation requesting readmission.

Aberdeen, South Lanarkshire and Renfrewshire, the three other rebel Labour-led councils which walked out with Glasgow in 2014, are expected to signal their intention to come back in the coming days.

The Herald revealed yesterday how the SNP was expected to spearhead Cosla, which represents local government and lobbies on its behalf, for the first time in the organisation's 42-year-history.

It comes as Cosla, which represents 28 of the country’s 32 local authorities, set a deadline of a month for councils to put forward who they want to become its president for the next five years.

Council chief executives have been told they have until June 9 to nominate who they want as Scotland’s pre-eminent councillor, as well as Cosla's vice president. All previous 14 presidents have been Labour councillors.

Without the four authorities which formed the Scottish Local Government Partnership the contest would be decided by 109 votes cast amongst the representatives of the 28 councils who form Cosla's Convention.

However, should the group rejoin the will bring a further 24 votes into play, Glasgow alone carrying eight.

Ms Aitken said: "The process has started and the chief executive has had conversations with Cosla. We expected to appoint delegates in the coming weeks.

"This is important because Glasgow needs to be round the table. As imperfect and in need of reform as Cosla is we can't back away from where decisions on local government are made and then make demands.

"Glasgow left for party political posturing. It's partnership group achieved nothing and delivered nothing. As a council and a city we need to be where the decisions are made and this was an easy thing to fix. We've said from the off we'd work with others even where there's disagreement and Cosla is one of those places where we'll work in partnership."

Under its rules, any local elected member from a Cosla council is eligible to be nominated for president and vice president.

The same candidate can be nominated for both roles but the successful pair must be of different political groups and genders.

The election will take place at Cosla Convention on 30 June by secret ballot. With many of the new council leaders fresh to the role there have been suggestions candidates could be rank and file members of an administration or even from the opposition benches.

Early names floated include the veteran West Lothian councillor and former leader Peter Johnston, East Ayrshire's Douglas Reid, East Lothian's Stuart Currie and former SNP deputy leadership contender and Inverclyde councillor Chris McEleny.

Mr McEleny said: "I'm flattered people would consider me for such a key national role and guess one of the benefits of previously standing for depute leader of the party was building up good working relationships with SNP council areas across Scotland.

"There will be a meeting of the SNP Cosla group later in the month and we will have discussions about things such as Cosla president then. "