LABOUR councillors in Aberdeen risk being thrown out of the party after doing a deal to run the city with a coalition of Tories and independents.

The draft terms agreed between the local parties were rejected by Labour’s Scottish Executive Committee late on Tuesday night, with officials saying they could not do a deal unless the Tories guaranteed there would be no compulsory redundanices.

Despite the warning from party bosses, Aberdeen’s nine Labour councillors persisted, and have agreed to be the junior coalition partner in a deal with the Tories and independents.

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News of the deal came just minutes before party leader Kezia Dugdale delivered what was billed as a major speech to activists and journalists in Glasgow where she warned that a vote for the Tories was an endorsement of a hard Brexit and the rape clause.

When The National asked Dugdale if she would back her councillors in Aberdeen over the deal, she said they could face disciplinary action.

The terms of the coalition deal proposed were rejected, she said, because the SEC “didn't believe there was enough evidence in the proposal put forward that there would be no compulsory redundancies and there would be no end to austerity.”

She added: "What will happen later today, if they choose to proceed with the deal with the Tories, then we will be writing to the Labour group in Aberdeen making it clear they are in breach of the Labour Party rule book and we will take the associated necessary disciplinary action alongside that.”

In a later statement, a party spokesman said: “A panel of the Scottish Executive Committee of the Scottish Labour Party, made up of trade union representatives, local party representatives, affiliated groups and the leadership, took the decision on Tuesday evening to reject a proposed power-sharing deal in Aberdeen.

"Labour’s approach has been clear and consistent: we absolutely cannot do any deal with another party if it would result in further austerity being imposed on local communities. The Conservatives are a pro-austerity party and the SEC panel did not accept that working families in Aberdeen would be protected from further cuts as the result of the proposed deal with the Tories.

“As a result, any Labour councillor who does not stand down from this multi-party arrangement will be in breach of Labour Party rules and may be suspended from the party.”

Ruth Davidson said Dugdale’s refusal to work with the 17 Tory councillors in Aberdeen would help prop up the SNP.

“Kezia Dugdale has shown her true colours,” the Scots Tory leader said. “As soon as the SNP finally comes under pressure, she can't wait to help them out by propping them up in local government.

“She says she'll 'discipline' members who even think about working with pro-UK colleagues like the Conservatives, despite Labour and Conservatives having formed the Aberdeen City administration for almost all of her time as leader.

“She really is lost. No wonder Scottish Labour is continuing its death spiral.”

Callum McCaig, a former leader of Aberdeen City Councillor, said Labour’s deal showed the councillors were more concerned with power than ending austerity.

"This is absolutely shameful behaviour from Labour,” McCaig said. “They can no longer call themselves a party that supports public services, given this anti-democratic pact with a right-wing Tory party obsessed with austerity and cuts.

“People across Aberdeen and the rest of Scotland now know where Labour’s priorities lie – they put jumping into bed with the Tories ahead of any principle.

"The SNP won this local election in Aberdeen decisively, yet we face being locked out of office by a Labour party that is now committed to cutting public services rather than engaging with our progressive programme to improve people's lives across Aberdeen.

"Now more than ever, it is vital to have strong SNP voices standing up for Scotland. Only then can we protect Scotland from the dangers of an unopposed Tory government at Westminster."

With 19 councillors, the SNP became the biggest party in the city after this month’s election. However, they fell short of the numbers to form a majority administration.

The Tories surged from three councillors to 11 from three, and Labour fell 18 down to nine.

Four Lib Dem councillors were elected, but earlier today Jennifer Stewart resigned the party whip to join the two other members of the independent alliance.