RICHARD Leonard has been urged to “back or sack” the Labour councillors in Aberdeen suspended from the party for forming a coalition with the Tories.

It’s now been 1000 days since the nine local politicians were kicked out of the party pending an investigation, and UK Labour’s national disciplinary body has still not heard the case.

Recently, MP Ian Murray, who is one of the frontrunners to become the UK party’s next deputy leader, called for the suspension to be lifted. He said that despite their power sharing agreement, the councillors had “never stopped putting Labour values” into place in the local authority.

Jackie Baillie, who is running for the deputy leadership of the Scottish party, agreed. At the 2017 local elections, the SNP won 19 seats in Aberdeen, the Tories 11 and Labour nine.

In an unusual twist, the Tories and Labour then formed a coalition where – despite having fewer councillors – Labour took on the leading roles.

The group were suspended by then-Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale. She said at the time that Tory austerity risked “hurting so many families in Aberdeen”.

The nine rebranded themselves as Aberdeen Labour and have been waiting for a decision from the party’s ruling body ever since.

The Tories on the administration have had a tricky time of it recently. One of their members, Alan Donnelly, was kicked out of the party when he was found guilty of sexual assault.

During the General Election campaign, his council colleague, Ryan Houghton, was revealed to have claimed that some events around the Holocaust had been “fabricated”.

SNP Aberdeen Central MSP Kevin Stewart said the people of Aberdeen were being served by a coalition “balanced on the support of a group of Labour deserters, an alleged Holocaust denier and a convicted sex offender”.

He said: “Richard Leonard is failing in his duties as Labour leader – he is an embarrassment. We’ve now reached 1000 days since these power-hungry councillors were suspended for ditching their principles to team up with the Tories – with no end to this sorry saga in sight.”

He added: “Labour might talk a good game on democracy and fighting Tory austerity, but they can’t be taken seriously with top leadership candidates now lending their support to councillors who have propped up this right-wing Tory administration. It’s time for action. Will he back or sack these councillors?”

Jenny Laing, leader of Aberdeen Labour, said: “It is disappointing that Labour have still not come to a decision on our suspension. However, whilst SNP MSP Kevin Stewart gets hot under the collar about Labour members being suspended, I am getting on with the day job of making Aberdeen a place where all people can prosper by delivering on our anti-poverty strategy despite SNP austerity budget cuts”.

Labour did not response to a request for a comment.