THE Scottish Greens have confirmed they will stand candidates in just three seats at the general election, prompting more claims that they are in the SNP’s pocket.

The pro-Independence party, which stood in 31 of 59 seats in 2015, said it would fight a “targeted campaign” in Glasgow North, Falkirk and Edinburgh North & Leith.

The announcement followed pressure from parts of the SNP for the Greens to stand back from contests where they could split the Yes vote and let in the Tories.

Green co-convener Maggie Chapman also suggested her party might step back from the only Tory-held seat in Scotland, Dumfriesshire, Clydesdale & Tweeddale, where Scottish Secretary David Mundell’s majority was smaller than the local Green vote at the last election.

Labour said the Greens had “capitulated” in a “desperate attempt to help their SNP masters”.

The Scottish Greens’ will now focus their resources on Glasgow North, where Glasgow MSP Patrick Harvie will challenge the SNP’s Patrick Grady.

In Falkirk, where fracking is a potential issue, the Greens will stand Debra Pickering against the SNP’s John McNally, even though he is also considered a fracking sceptic.

And in Edinburgh North & Leith, Green Lorna Slater goes against the SNP’s Deidre Brock.

The SNP majority in the seat was 5,597 in 2015, and the Green vote 3140.

Last week’s local election result suggests Tory Iain McGill is just behind the SNP in the seat, which overlaps with large parts of Ruth Davidson’s Edinburgh Central Holyrood constituency.

Yvonne McLellan, Co-convener of the Scottish Greens' elections committee, said: “Theresa May knows she can rely on self-interested wealthy donors and campaigners who’re allowed to break the spending rules without fear of prosecution. Greens don’t work that way, and we’re not in the pockets of the super-rich.

"That's why we are targeting our resources to build on our strong support in Glasgow North and in Edinburgh North & Leith, and also build support for the case against fracking in Falkirk. Greens across Scotland will support efforts in these constituencies, offering a bold alternative to the other parties.

"In the same way that the Greens in England focused efforts on Brighton to elect Caroline Lucas to Westminster, we believe by targeting we can work towards Scotland electing its first Green MP."

Scottish Labour election manager James Kelly said: “Patrick Harvie has sacrificed all his principles on the altar of Scottish independence.

“But after his party helped inflict a £170m cut on local services across Scotland this year, it is no surprise he doesn’t want to select candidates who would be told on the doorsteps how the Green/SNP cuts are hurting local communities.

"The Green voters he has abandoned in 56 constituencies now have a clear choice: elect a Labour MP who will fight for a greener, fairer Britain; or elect an SNP MP who will only care about a divisive second referendum and let Theresa May back into Number Ten.”

Green sources insisted local branches were left to make their own decisions about fielding candidates, and there was no central direction from HQ, far less SNP interference.

However branches were warned that central funds would be restricted to the party’s single target seat of Glasgow North, and all other fights would have to be self-financing.

Sources also said the dynamic within the party was very different from 2015, when a rush of new post-referendum members meant lots of branches wanted to stand in the election.

The proximity of the Holyrood poll also meant the last general election was useful for giving candidates experience of campaigning in anticipation of them standing in 2016.

But after the Greens won zero seats at a cost of more than £15,000 in deposits alone, there were internal recriminations about standing in so many hopeless fights.

One senior Green said the party’s finances were currently “precarious”, and there was little appetite for throwing more cash at a first-past-the-post election.