THE councillors kicked out of Labour for going into coalition with the Tories should be allowed back into the party, Ian Murray has claimed.

The Edinburgh South MP, who is one of the frontrunners to become the UK party’s next deputy leader, said that despite their power sharing agreement with Boris Johnson’s elected representatives, the north east nine had “never stopped putting Labour values” into place in the local authority.

The group were suspended by then-Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale in May 2017.

Speaking at the time, she said Tory austerity risked “hurting so many families in Aberdeen”.

Yesterday, Murray said the issue has “dragged on for far too long”.

He said: “The local government coalition has adopted the Aberdeen Labour manifesto commitments, including its anti-poverty strategy.

“Despite being one of the lowest funded councils in the country, which has been further decimated by SNP cuts from Holyrood, the coalition has invested heavily in capital infrastructure projects and housing, spends more than the national average on education, and there have been no compulsory redundancies.

“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.”

The councillors also won the backing of Jackie Baillie.

Despite being suspended three years ago, UK Labour’s national disciplinary body has still not heard the case.

Kevin Stewart, the SNP MSP for Aberdeen Central, described the situation as a “complete embarrassment.”

He said “Labour might talk a good game on democracy and fighting Tory austerity, but they can’t be taken seriously with top leadership candidates lending their support to councillors who have propped up a right-wing Tory administration while Richard Leonard sits on his hands.”