Divisions within the SNP are growing after an MP penned an article for a website described hours earlier by his colleague as an “appalling hate fest”.
Kenny MacAskill has authored a piece on the Wings Over Scotland blog today, critiquing the SNP’s structures and strategy at Westminster and questioning the role of his party in the UK parliament.
The MP and former justice secretary’s article comes hours after Pete Wishart, veteran SNP MP said he did not think it was appropriate for an SNP politician to write for the site, in response to a post by an SNP councillor Chris McEleny.
He has also said the website is an “anti-SNP hate blog”.
Let’s leave aside the fact that this rubbish is barely coherent, imagine thinking it’s still OK for an SNP politician to write for this appalling hate fest. Shocking. https://t.co/4SaZolyf80
— Pete Wishart (@PeteWishart) February 18, 2021
Mr Wishart’s criticisms were echoed by SNP MSP Tom Arthur, who added: “Anyone who promotes that blog is, in my view, not fit to be an SNP member.”
One senior SNP source told The that Mr Macaskill appeared to be “looking for an excuse to have the whip withdrawn”.
Another added: “If Kenny had raised these points, to the extent that there are any points being made, in a group meeting then I suspect he may have had some support.
“The fact that he’s having to raise them on that hell site shows how far out of the tent he is.”
Mr MacAskill, MP for East Lothian, has hit out at some elected SNP officials saying they should have “a bit more humility” and suggests there has been a breakdown in the party’s democracy for appointing roles.
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He also suggests the SNP has been “sucked in and suckered by Westminster”, questions the loyalty of some of his colleagues and the use of “grandiloquent titles” for SNP spokespeople which they have started using in the Commons.
The former justice minister said: “I can understand why grandiloquent titles such as Shadow Foreign Secretary or Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, which the SNP has recently started attaching to its spokespeople, may appeal to those individuals. But the SNP can never hold those positions nor does it aspire to even replicate the policies.”
He questioned the role of an SNP representative on Westminster’s Security and Intelligence Committee – one of the most high-profile committees in Parliament, which is privy to detailed information about policing, intelligence matters and national security issues across the country.
Having held a position on the committee until 2019, the SNP’s Westminster leader Ian Blackford stepped down and was replaced by his colleague Stewart Hosie.
Mr MacAskill wrote “An SNP MP sits on the Security and Intelligence Committee. Why?…Are SNP members on the Security Committee told about actions in Scotland?
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“If they are and cannot tell us, whose side are they on? If they aren’t told, then that itself is an issue that demands answers, not legitimisation by participation. “But either way SNP members have no proper role insuch Westminster institutions.”