WORCESTER'S Green Party has revealed a deal WILL be struck over running the city council - and has not ruled out springing a surprise by propping up a Tory administration.

Louis Stephen, its branch chairman, has asked for more talks "independently" with both Labour and the Conservatives before the party makes its mind up.

But this newspaper can reveal how the Greens are adamant some sort of deal will be agreed, suggesting its demands have been met positively by both rival parties.

It now appears almost certain the Greens will be able to simply pick one side or the other - with its branch in an increasingly strong position.

Yesterday we revealed how Tory Councillor Marc Bayliss, who is clinging on as leader, dangled the carrot of a possible "multi-party cabinet" involving all three parties in an unlikely bid to stay in office.

As of last night that still remained a possibility, with the Greens saying they had not ruled out cajoling both the major parties into a rainbow-style arrangement.

But that prospect seems less likely than a two-party deal, given its simplicity.

Councillor Stephen said: "Things are positive - what I can say is that we will be able to form an agreement with one, or more of the parties.

"We've had good discussions and I'll be talking to both Labour and the Conservatives, independently - we haven't had talks all together, maybe that will happen, I don't know.

"I don't want to say too much more because things are at quite a sensitive stage."

Yesterday, the Labour group's leader Councillor Adrian Gregson refused to make any comment when asked if he would rule out a deal between all three parties.

But it still appears unlikely, with the veteran ex-council leader insisting the nature of his negotiations with the Greens would be kept under wraps.

"I've said the discussions are ongoing, and that's still the case," he said.

It comes as sources inside the council said its senior management team are now mired in "a whole series of discussions" about the possibilities for next week.

The authority's corporate management team have been working in overdrive to prepare for whichever new leadership is formed.

Last week's local elections left the council in a state of 'no overall control', with 17 Conservative, 16 Labour and two Green politicians making up its 35 members.

It was the only English council in the entire country where the Tories lost overall control, a result sparked by Councillor Stephen winning Battenhall.

At this Tuesday's Annual Council a new administration will be voted in, as well as a new Mayor of Worcester to replace Councillor Roger Knight.