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by Ruaraidh Gilmour
12 July 2023
Angus MacNeil to sit as an independent until ‘SNP gets serious about independence’

Angus MacNeil has said he will not seek the SNP whip until at least October

Angus MacNeil to sit as an independent until ‘SNP gets serious about independence’

Angus MacNeil will sit as an independent at Westminster until “the SNP gets serious about independence”.

The MP for Na h-Eileanan an Iar, who was suspended for seven days last week from the SNP group at Westminster after accusing the chief whip of bullying, has said his reasoning for sitting as an independent is not because of the row, but that time away from the group during the suspension has allowed him to concentrate on the “pursuit of Scottish independence”.

MacNeil will now only seek the SNP whip again if “it is clear the SNP are pursuing independence”. He described the party as “a brand name missing the key ingredient” and that the “urgency for independence is absent”.  

The party’s approach to gaining a second referendum through the Supreme Court was also criticised by the MP, saying that the Scottish Government went in “utterly clueless” about how to map a route to independence.  

MacNeil said: “The SNP still have no clear understanding that it has to use elections to negotiate Scottish independence from Westminster by getting the backing of the majority of the electorate.

“The SNP membership must have a say at conference on policy direction, which it hasn’t until now."

The MP cited neighbouring nations like Ireland, Iceland, and in Scandinavia who are expected to see population increases between 10 and 32 per cent by 2050, while Scotland is projected to have a decrease of two per cent. He also pointing to domestic issues such as Brexit as the need for urgency on independence.

He said: “The tricks of the last six years of kicking the can down the road has not served Scotland well in matching our successful neighbours, instead we are trapped with Brexit in a socially failing UK.
There has to be hope of change after the SNP Conference this October, with a lot of groundwork underway."

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