A group of Aberdeen councillors suspended from their party for more than three years will now face a disciplinary hearing.
The so-called “Aberdeen Nine” – the entire Labour group on the city council – were suspended from the party following the 2017 local election after forming a coalition with the Conservatives.
The suspended group – which has been known as “Aberdeen Labour” since the suspension was announced – includes a number of prominent councillors, such as local authority co-leader Jenny Laing and Lord Provost Barney Crockett.
Now the Evening Express can reveal the entire group is set to be hauled before party top brass to explain the decision to join forces with the Tories.
They were said to have disobeyed then-Scottish leader Kezia Dugdale by forming the coalition with the other party.
Ms Laing confirmed the nine had been notified of an upcoming hearing – but said she could not give any further comment.
She said: “We have received notification from the Labour Party that there will be a hearing into this matter. It would be inappropriate to comment further until after the hearing.”
As well as Ms Laing and Mr Crockett, the group also includes Ross Grant, Sandra Macdonald, Gordon Graham, Yvonne Allan, Sarah Duncan, Lesley Dunbar and Tauqeer Malik.
There have been repeated calls from senior figures in the Labour Party north and south of the border to either deal with the suspended councillors or reinstate them into the party.
Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds – who is originally from Aberdeen – said last month she would like the dispute ended “as quickly as possible”.
Meanwhile, Jackie Baillie, who was last year elected deputy leader of Scottish Labour, told the Evening Express she “regretted” the decision to suspend the councillors.
And she branded the decision to continue the suspensions for more than three years “cruel and intolerable”.
She said: “I really regret that it came to the position that the Aberdeen councillors were suspended.
“But wherever you stand on that, the fact they have been suspended for almost three years is intolerable.
“It is cruel and I think the party should end the suspension now.”
Those calls were echoed by the party’s shadow Scottish secretary, Ian Murray, who added: “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.”
Scottish Labour has been contacted for comment.