Labour suspends councillors who formed Tory coalition
Members in Aberdeen defied party orders not to strike deal with Conservatives.
Scottish Labour has suspended nine Aberdeen councillors after they formed a coalition with the Conservatives against the orders of the party's ruling body.
Labour's Scottish Executive Committee (SEC) rejected a request by the group to strike a deal to run the city on Tuesday.
The nine members ignored the ruling and on Wednesday entered into a coalition with the Conservatives to run Aberdeen.
The party warned the group they had until 5pm on Thursday to pull out of the arrangement or they would face disciplinary action.
Three independent councillors have also joined the coalition, giving the administration a working majority.
The SNP won the most seats in the city in the local election earlier this month.
Former SNP council leader Callum McCaig called the deal "absolutely shameful".
Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale said: "Labour values must always run through any deals in local government.
"The hundreds of thousands of Scots who vote for us have the absolute right to expect us to defend local services against cuts and properly fund the services that so many people rely on such as education and care for the elderly.
"Labour cannot do any deal with another party if it would result in further austerity being imposed on local communities.
"Tory austerity risks hurting so many families in Aberdeen, and the Labour Party simply will not stand for that."
Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said: "This is a terrible error of judgment by Kezia Dugdale. She has abandoned nine local councillors - they are right and she is wrong."
On Wednesday evening, the SEC also rejected a proposed coalition between Labour and the Tories in West Lothian.