Fergus Ewing suspended from SNP following backbench rebellions
Fergus Ewing has been suspended from the SNP following a disciplinary vote by the party’s MSPs.
Ewing, a former cabinet secretary, has been an outspoken critic of policies including the deposit return scheme (DRS) and Highly Protected Marine Areas (HPMAs).
Earlier this year he backed a motion of no confidence in Green minister Lorna Slater, leading to last night’s disciplinary meeting.
MSPs voted in favour of suspending Ewing from the party for one week. The proposal was backed by 48 votes to nine with four abstensions.
Following the vote, Ewing said: “The SNP I joined would never have asked me, or indeed any other elected politician, to choose between loyalty to party and loyalty to constituents.
“Indeed in the old SNP it was always expected that country and constituency would come first.
“That is why the SNP, while often attacked, was always respected.”
Neither First Minister Humza Yousaf or former First Minister Nicola Sturgeon were present for the vote.
Ewing, who was supported by his sister Annabelle and former leadership contender Kate Forbes, said he was “literally born into the SNP”, a reference to his mother Winnie, the trailblazing former MP who died earlier this year.
He said: “It was never an ordinary political party because it was one which put Scotland first.
“In good conscience this is no longer the case and it has nothing to do with personalities or my antipathy towards the Green Party.”
He added: “I choose to defend my constituents and Iet the cards fall as they will.”