ANAS Sarwar has been accused of over-selling the end of a Labour-SNP council coalition, after it emerged the changes involved will be essentially cosmetic.

The Scottish Labour leader said on Friday that the deal between his party and the Nationalists on Dumfries & Galloway Council (DGC) was "set to end imminently".

He said a pact that excluded the Tories - the largest group on the council - last May had merely been a "temporary" arrangement.

Mr Sarwar had said in advance of last year's local elections that there would be no formal deals with the SNP, but many informal ones happened regardless.

In DGC, Labour's Linda Dorward and the SNP's Stephen Thompson have "co-leader" status, and this is due to end.

However a motion going to the full council this week, which has been proposed by the co-leaders, shows that very little else will.

READ MORE: SNP-Labour administration in Dumfries and Galloway to end 'imminently'

If passed, Councillor Thompson will be sole leader and Councillor Doward will be the civic head of the council, while Liberal Democrat Richard Brodie will be depute leader. 

On the Borderlands Partnership Board, Mr Thompson remains the council nominated member, and Cllr Dorward and Cllr Brodie are the substitutes, albeit Mr Brodie is promoted to first substitute and Cllr Dorward demoted to second substitute.

On the Convention of the South of Scotland, Cllr Thompson and Ms Doward remain the two nominees, but change places so Mr Cllr Thompson is now the first ranked.

On the council body Cosla, Cllrs Thompson and Dorward had been joint nominees, but Mr Thompson will be sole leader and Mr Brodie made a substitute.

Representation on the South of Scotland Regional Economic Partnership is unchanged.

On the integrated joint board for health and care, and the Dumfries and Galloway Pension Board, the political make-up remains the same, although two new Labour names take the place of two old ones, and two SNP councillors swap organisations.

Finlay Carson, the Tory MSP for Galloway and West Dumfries, said the proposed new deal showed the lengths the current administration would go to "cling on to power".

He said: "The 2021 local elections result could not have been clearer.

"The people of Dumfries & Galloway rejected years of mismanagement from Labour and SNP, returning Scottish Conservatives the large party.

"The public will see through this farce and be angered. They were furious with the shady backroom deals to seize power before. This shuffling of the deckchairs to keep Anas Sarwar happy will be no more welcome."

Scottish Labour was asked for comment yesterday.