A second Labour-run council has appealed to Michael Gove to bypass the Scottish Government and hand Barnett Consequentials straight to local authorities.

Martin Rooney, the leader of West Dunbartonshire, said he was seeking an “urgent intervention” by the Secretary of State for Levelling Up.

His plea to the Tory minister follows a similar request from Stephen McCabe, the leader of Labour-run Inverclyde council.

The SNP said Anas Sarwar needed to "urgently confirm whether he supports his councillors undermining Scottish local government and the Scottish Parliament."

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The row stems from Humza Yousaf’s promise to freeze council tax.

The announcement during his speech to delegates at SNP conference caught the country’s town halls by surprise.

Deputy First Minister Shona Robison initially promised £147m to fund the freeze, the equivalent of a 5% hike across the board.

However, councils said this would leave them short-changed, especially when other money from the government has been ring-fenced.

Last week, Ms Robison promised to hand over an extra £62.7m, with £45m coming from Barnett Consequentials due to extra spending for councils in England announced by Mr Gove.

However, the money will only go to authorities who agree to freeze council tax.

In his letter, Cllr Rooney wrote: “You will be aware from press reports that the Scottish Government Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Finance Shona Robison MP [sic] has informed Scottish Councils that they will only receive a share of the estimated £45m of Barnett consequentials from the UK Government if they agree to freeze Council Tax.

“This condition also being applied to the £147m funding made available to 'compensate' for a council tax increase at a level determined by the Scottish Government rather than democratically elected councils.

“In total this means the Scottish Government are threatening to withhold £192m of funding if Councils choose to exercise their delegated power to determine how best to fund and deliver local priorities.

“I am seeking your urgent intervention to ensure that all Councils I Scotland receive a share of this additional funding, should it be allocated by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.”

Cllr Rooney also copied in Scottish Secretary Alister Jack and Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

The text is similar to the letter sent by Cllr McCabe yesterday.

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The SNP MSP Stuart McMillan said Mr Sarwar must "urgently confirm whether he supports his councillors undermining Scottish local government and the Scottish Parliament and, if not, what action he will take against them."
He added: "Instead of working with the SNP to stand up to Westminster and ensure more funding comes to Scotland, Scottish Labour have decided to cosy up to the same Tories that have decimated funding for public services across the UK.
“Scottish Labour wanting to hand control of Scottish local government over to the Tories all so they can hike council tax bills confirms that the SNP is the only party that will always stand up for hard working households in Scotland.”

Alba’s Secretary General, Chris McEleny said bypassing the Scottish Government would be “nothing less than direct rule of the finances of Scottish Councils by Westminster.”

He added: “Anas Sarwar remained silent yesterday hoping nobody would notice one Labour Council effectively calling for the devolution settlement to be ripped up but today we have more Labour Councils joining this call.

“This is now a full blown crisis for Scottish Labour. Anas Sarwar must urgently distance himself from these proposals and confirm that he believes it is for the Scottish Parliament to determine how Barnett Consequentials are allocated - not Michael Gove, not the UK Chancellor or anyone at Westminster.“

Scottish Labour has been approached for comment.