A senior Labour politician has visited Aberdeen in a bid to solve a long-running dispute.
In May 2017, nine elected Labour councillors formed an administration with the Tory party against the orders of then party leader Kezia Dugdale.
They were suspended and the situation is unresolved more than 560 days later.
Current Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard appointed Alex Rowley as local government spokesman in October.
Mr Rowley visited the Town House on Friday to meet some of the nine.
It is understood Mr Rowley wants to resolve the issue.
Some of his party colleagues believe the councillors should be punished for teaming up with the Tories, while others want their suspensions lifted for the good of the party.
However, the final decision on what – if any – punishment should be dished out will be up to Labour’s national constitutional committee (NCC), which has its own problems.
Labour announced in September it would double the number of NCC representatives from 14 to 28 so it can process a backlog of anti-semitism complaints made against UK Labour politicians.
None of the complaints relate to the north-east.
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One source close to the issue, who asked not to be named, said: “The NCC has bigger issues at the moment than the Aberdeen Nine.
“Mr Rowley made no secret of his visit to the Town House. He wants to sort it out like everyone does.
“The process for the nine councillors has been wearing and unfair – but they don’t wish to complain about it dragging on in case it makes the punishment worse.
“They are getting on with doing a good job of running the council.”
A Scottish Labour spokesman said: “As recommended by the Scottish Executive Committee, the nine councillors have been referred to the NCC where their membership of the Labour Party will be considered.”