The fate of nine suspended Aberdeen councillors will be considered by Labour’s national governing body next month.
The group, which has dubbed itself Aberdeen Labour, was suspended by Kezia Dugdale in May last year for entering into a power-sharing pact with the Conservatives.
It has now been revealed the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) will consider the case in early July, following a recommendation by the Scottish Executive Committee (SEC).
The local authority’s SNP group has demanded Labour permanently expel the nine councillors, adding they must also call for the group to stand down as councillors.
Richard Leonard, who took over from Ms Dugdale in November, previously said the nine councillors would be given the chance to prove their opposition to austerity in February’s council budget.
However, no decision has been forthcoming and while the matter was discussed at the most recent SEC meeting in April, the suspension has so far remained under review.
Councillor Stephen Flynn, leader of the SNP group, said: “Richard Leonard needs to make a final decision. Will he sack or back councillors who are wedded to austerity and intent on cutting local services and hundreds of jobs?
“This is a key test of his leadership, and he’s currently failing.”
A Scottish Labour Party spokesman said: “The matter of the suspended councillors in Aberdeen will be considered in July, with the SEC making a recommendation in advance.”