Angus MacNeil has SNP membership suspended
Angus MacNeil has had his SNP party membership suspended after deciding to sit as an independent.
Party officials said the MP was in breach of the party’s code of conduct and said he had now been referred to the conduct committee.
The MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar chose not to return to the SNP’s Westminster group this week after having the whip temporarily removed following a row with chief whip Brendan O’Hara.
But MacNeil, who is one of the longest-serving SNP MPs, said that his decision to return as an independent was not motivated by his disagreement with O’Hara, but instead by the SNP’s lack of direction on independence.
In the wake of MacNeil’s decision, the SNP’s national secretary contacted him to advise that he had breached the party’s code of conduct. The matter has now been referred to the party’s member conduct committee, suspending his membership while the matter is considered by the committee.
MacNeil said: "I did not leave the SNP and I hope the SNP haven't left me, as that was what went wrong with Labour in Scotland".
An SNP spokesman said: "Angus MacNeil MP was advised by the SNP National Secretary on Wednesday that she considered him to be in breach of the party's code of conduct by his decision to resign from the SNP Westminster parliamentary group.
"Having acknowledged this, Mr MacNeil did not take up the offer to rejoin the SNP parliamentary group and the matter was, therefore, yesterday referred to the SNP Member Conduct Committee for consideration."
MacNeil had previously said that he could return to the sit with the party in the Commons as early as October, when the party will have their conference, if it "is clear that the SNP are pursuing independence”.
In a statement posted to Twitter, he was scathing of the SNP’s lack of direction on independence, calling the party “utterly clueless” over its plan, adding that “urgency for independence is absent”.