Support the Aberdeen Nine

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Support the Aberdeen Nine 

We the undersigned call on Labour’s national executive committee to end the suspension of all nine Aberdeen City Council Labour councillors, and to restore their full rights as Labour Party members without further delay. 

The Aberdeen Nine were suspended shortly after the local elections in May 2017, for forming an Administration to lead the council without the necessary approval from Labour’s Scottish executive committee. They continue to be suspended, more than a year later. The Scottish committee voted in June 2018 to refer the matter to Labour’s national executive committee, with a view to the Aberdeen Nine being expelled from the Labour Party. 

At no time has the Scottish executive committee offered any explanation for refusing approval to the coalition deal in Aberdeen. Over a period of thirteen months, the committee asked the Aberdeen Labour Group to demonstrate (1) that the Coalition Agreement included commitments to oppose austerity, and to no compulsory redundancies of council employees; (2) that the City Council budget for 2018/19 would build on those commitments, and carry forward Labour’s manifesto; and (3) that they would renegotiate the Coalition Agreement to deliver further measures to tackle austerity. The Aberdeen Nine have met all these requests in full. 

It has been claimed that the Aberdeen Nine are facing expulsion because their coalition partners on the City Council include the Conservatives. It has also been reported that the Aberdeen Nine were told they should offer to do a deal with the SNP instead. In fact, Scottish Labour has no policy position for or against doing deals with either the Conservatives or the SNP, and Scottish Labour spokespeople constantly make the point that both Nationalists and Tories are responsible for imposing austerity policies on the people of Scotland. A policy that does not exist cannot be grounds for expulsion of party members. 

In view of the absence of any rational or transparent explanation for either continued suspension or expulsion, the national executive committee should restore the Aberdeen Nine to the full rights of party membership without further delay.