Nine Aberdeen councillors from the Scottish Labour party will remain suspended until Spring 2022.
UK party’s national constitutional committee has announced its decision on the Aberdeen Nine – more than three years on from their suspension.
The entire Labour group on Aberdeen City Council was suspended from the party after entering into administration with the Conservative and Independent Alliance groups following the 2017 local elections.
A Scottish Labour spokesperson said: “After considering the evidence and a full heading, Labour’s National Constitutional Committee has determined in accordance with party rules that the nine Aberdeen councillors will remain administratively suspended from the party until May 1, 2022.”
Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard said: “This sends out a clear message that serious rule breaches will result in serious repercussions.
“It is disappointing that the nine councillors in three and a half years have offered neither regret nor a resolution to avoid this decision.
“I have expressed my frustration before that this case has taken so long to be brought to a conclusion.
“Now it is time to move on.”
Jenny Laing, Aberdeen Labour group leader, said: “It is deeply disappointing that the NCC failed to end our three and a half year-long suspension particularly as we were found not to have breached the rule which states ‘no member of the party shall engage in conduct which in the opinion of the NEC is prejudicial, or in any act which in the opinion of the NEC is grossly detrimental to the party’.
“The Aberdeen Labour Group remain determined to deliver for the people of Aberdeen, to deliver the Labour manifesto on which we were elected and to stand up to the SNP government on the city’s behalf at this critical time.
“We will not be distracted from those tasks by internal party matters.”
In an online, statement Labour councillor Sarah Duncan, who represents the Kincorth, Nigg and Cove ward, said she was “bitterly disappointed”.
She added: “We’re implementing a Labour manifesto with 2,000+ council houses, net-zero transition plan with green jobs and award-winning culture.
“We are UK Labour through and through and want to demonstrate what Scottish Labour does in power. Carrying on regardless.”
Bitterly disappointed. We're implementing a Labour manifesto with 2000+ council houses, net zero transition plan with green jobs and award-winning culture; we are @UKLabour through and through and want to demonstrate what @scottishlabour does in power. Carrying on regardless https://t.co/TcrJblvU4h
— Sarah Duncan (@SarahDuncan70) October 30, 2020
SNP Councillor Alex Nicoll said it has been “another catastrophic week for Labour”.
He added: “This has been a long time coming and should’ve been dealt with years ago.
“With the political careers of these nine councillors now looking all but over, you have to wonder if the current administration is doomed as they seek to jump ship to save their own skin.
“Although, I doubt many would be shocked to see some of these councillors now look to join their chums in the Tory party. Their membership forms may already be in the post.
“This has been another catastrophic week for Labour.”