Scottish Labour has voted to allow nine Aberdeen councillors suspended from the party to be considered as Scottish Labour candidates for next year’s local authority elections.
The so-called Aberdeen Nine were suspended in 2017 after forming a coalition with the Conservatives, despite instructions from then leader Kezia Dugdale not to do so.
Last year, the party’s National Constitutional Committee determined they would remain administratively suspended from the party until May 1 2022.
On Saturday the party’s Scottish Executive Committee (SEC) has voted to allow them to be considered for selection as a Labour candidates in the council elections next May.
A report to the committee ahead of the private meeting stated: “The SEC believes that members in Aberdeen should be afforded the opportunity to select from a full range of candidates, including those councillors currently suspended by the Labour Party (subject to any decisions in respect of those suspensions made by the UK Labour Party’s National Executive Committee), in order to give the Scottish Labour Party the best chance of success in next year’s crucial local elections.”
A Scottish Labour spokesman said “The Scottish Executive Committee has considered the position of the Aberdeen Labour group and have determined that members in Aberdeen should have the right to decide who their Scottish Labour candidates are for the Council elections next year.
“Our members in Aberdeen will now decide if they are worthy to stand to represent our party.”
Aberdeen City Council leader Jenny Laing and the city’s Lord Provost Barney Crockett are among those suspended.
Ms Laing said: “We appreciate how the SEC have considered and arrived at this decision.
“In administration in Aberdeen we have promoted and delivered the Scottish Labour Party policies that we stood for election on.
“It is right that the final decision now belongs to members in Aberdeen.”
Scottish Conservative MSP for the north east, Douglas Lumsden, who was previously council co-leader with Ms Laing, said: “For years now, Labour have treated their Aberdeen councillors horrendously, simply because they kept the SNP out of power.
“Even now, these councillors are still expected to be apologetic for working with a unionist party.
“It looks like Labour HQ will still have the final say on any future coalition agreements and will they really agree to a deal with unionists?
“People will rightly be worried the strict conditions on these councillors’ readmission to the party opens the door to Labour working with the SNP in future.”