THE Scottish Conservatives have given their backing to nine councillors suspended by Labour over defying their party leadership to form a coalition with the Tories.

Their support came after reports suggested Labour would field candidates in direct competition to the so-called Aberdeen Nine councillors in at next year’s local elections.

Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has said he considers that the nine councillors are still be part of his party and that they were performing well.

He revealed on Friday he was pushing for complaints and disciplinary decisions to be handled in Scotland - a move which could allow him to welcome back the councillors. 

Scottish Conservative MSP for north east Scotland Douglas Lumsden said: “It would be unforgivable if Labour refuse to let my Aberdeen colleagues back in to the party, all because they worked with unionists to improve the city. 

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“Anas Sarwar doesn’t seem to have any power within his own party. He looks incredibly weak going cap-in-hand to London and coming back with nothing to show for it.

"If Labour end up standing candidates to try and oust their own councillors in next year’s election, it would be a truly farcical situation."

He added: “Labour are showing themselves up as a running joke by refusing to let these valuable colleagues back in the party. In the Scottish Conservatives, we are proud of councillors who put party allegiances aside to keep out the nationalists and deliver for local people.”

Scottish Labour sources told the Evening Express in Aberdeen today they will look to have candidates standing in Scotland’s third largest city, regardless of whether the group of are readmitted.

READ MORE: 'Aberdeen Nine' to remain suspended from Labour until 2022

The nine Labour councillors in Aberdeen city council were suspended in 2017 after they disobeyed former leader kezia Dugdale's instructions not to form a coalition with the Conservatives. The UK Labour Party's disciplinary body said they would remain suspended until the local elections in 2022.

Party insiders told the Evening Express in Aberdeen today it is “quite probable” Labour will field candidates in Scotland’s third largest city whether the nine councillors have been readmitted into the party or not.

The SNP were approached for comment.