Scottish Labour’s leadership hopefuls must make their position clear on the “rogue” suspended Aberdeen councillors, the council’s SNP leader has said.
The Aberdeen Labour councillors defied the party leadership by entering a power-sharing deal with the Conservatives following the local elections in May.
The then Scottish Labour leader, Kezia Dugdale, said the local group’s backing for “Tory austerity” had meant the disciplinary action had to be taken.
But Aberdeen Labour council co-leader Jenny Laing said they had “put the city first” by forging the pact with the Tories and preventing the SNP taking control of the townhouse.
The SNP won the most seats at the election with 19, but a coalition of Aberdeen Labour, Conservative and independent was formed with a total of 23 seats.
The situation has been thrown into disarray by Ms Dugdale’s resignation with Anas Sarwar and Richard Leonard now competing for the leadership.
It has been reported that the nine councillors will learn their fate next month.
And last night, SNP leader Stephen Flynn said he had written to Mr Sarwar and Mr Leonard asking them to make clear whether they support the readmission.
He said: “If the Labour party has any principles left it must be absolutely clear with its rogue councillors in Aberdeen – stop propping up the Tories or else face expulsion from the party for good.
“Despite the SNP winning the council election in Aberdeen City, Labour rushed to the aid of the right-wing austerity-obsessed Tories, entering into an anti-democratic pact and making a mockery of the decision of the people of Aberdeen.
“People have a right to know where the two Labour’s leadership hopefuls stand on this question.
“While they might talk a good talk on local democracy, funding local services and fighting against Tory austerity they cannot be taken seriously if they continue to allow their councillors to prop up a Tory council which stands for such completely incompatible ideals.
“Labour shouldn’t go easy on their suspended councillors simply because there’s no election on the immediate horizon.
“Their new leader – whoever he may be – needs to set an example and make clear where they stand. Anything else would be an insult to the electorate.”
A Scottish Labour spokesman declined to comment on the ongoing investigation.