The new Scottish Labour leader Anas Sarwar has said he considers nine Aberdeen councillors suspended in 2017 to still be part of the party.
The councillors were suspended 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.
Mr Sarwar said he believed the nine were performing well.
He told the BBC's Good Morning Scotland: "They are not former Labour colleagues, I regard them as Labour colleagues, they are Labour councillors doing a good job.
"I regard them as Labour councillors and I think the situation is far from acceptable, but they have gone through a process that was before my time as leader."
Mr Sarwar was announced as the new Scottish Labour leader at the weekend.
The Glasgow MSP defeated Monica Lennon, the only other candidate in the race.
The contest was triggered after Richard Leonard resigned as leader, saying it was in the best interests of the party for him to stand down.