A group of suspended Aberdeen councillors are “unlikely” to learn their fate this year, according to a senior Labour politician.
It is now more than 500 days – and more than a quarter of a way through their council term – since the group of nine elected Labour councillors formed an administration with the Conservative party against the orders of then-party leader Kezia Dugdale.
North-east Labour MSP Lewis Macdonald said the situation remains “in limbo” for the “Labour Nine”, as they have been branded.
He added: “The sooner that process can be completed the sooner they can get back to the day job.
“They do know they will be given six weeks’ notice so it seems unlikely it will be resolved this year.
“It’s more likely to be some time in 2019.”
The case has been passed through various party bodies since the councillors were suspended from the party following last year’s council elections.
In July, the National Executive Committee’s (NEC) disputes panel met and then referred it on to the National Constitutional Committee (NCC) which will have the final say.
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A date for the NCC meeting has not been set.
SNP group leader Stephen Flynn said: “The fact Labour can’t make up their mind on such a basic issue only serves to reinforce the view held by many that they are completely unfit to govern.” Tony Blair’s former spin doctor Alastair Campbell is among the figures who have publicly called for the group to be reinstated.
A Scottish Labour spokesman said: “As recommended by the Scottish Executive Committee, the nine suspended Labour councillors in Aberdeen have been referred by the NEC to the National Constitutional Committee, where their membership of the Labour Party will be considered. A date for this will be set in due course.”
A spokesman for Aberdeen Labour said: “The Aberdeen Labour group remain committed to carrying out its agreed policies.”
He said it was understood there is a process to follow in respect of the suspension and they would await a date from the NCC for the hearing.