Leading candidates for two of Labour’s top jobs have called for a group of suspended councillors to be reinstated to the party.
Jackie Baillie and Ian Murray want the nine local authority members to be welcomed back.
They were suspended from Labour after entering into a coalition with the Conservatives following the council election in 2017.
Ms Baillie held talks with the so-called Aberdeen Nine at the Town House yesterday as the candidate for the Scottish Labour deputy leadership started her Scotland-wide tour in the city.
She said lifting the ban would help “reunite” Labour in Aberdeen and she wants the councillors to be completely reinstated.
Ms Baillie said: “It’s almost three years the councillors have been suspended for, and they have been making a tremendous difference to Aberdeen.
“They are implementing Labour policies and I think after three years the suspension should end.
“If I’m successful in my deputy leadership bid, I will leave no stone unturned in ensuring these councillors are brought back into the Labour fold.”
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Mr Murray said it is something he would resolve if elected as Labour’s UK deputy leader.
He said: “This situation has dragged on now for far too long. It has been nearly 1,000 days since the councillors were first suspended.
“If elected Labour deputy leader, I will seek an immediate resolution to this and I believe they should all be readmitted to the party.
“The nine councillors, many of whom have been party members for decades, have never stopped putting Labour values into the governance of the city. It is time we as a party recognised that.”
Aberdeen City Council co-leader Jenny Laing – one of those suspended – welcomed their support.
She said: “We are very grateful for the support of both Jackie Baillie and Ian Murray. We are delivering on the Labour manifesto we stood for election on.
“We want to make sure we are delivering for the people of Aberdeen.”