24 July 2023

SNP activist hints at attempt to challenge Yousaf leadership

24 July 2023

An SNP activist has hinted at an attempt to challenge First Minister Humza Yousaf, claiming the leader’s position was “conditional” on listening to party members.

Chris Hanlon, the secretary of a Fife branch of the party, posted a picture to Twitter on Sunday of nomination forms for the SNP leadership.

Alongside the picture – which he described as a “petition for SNP members” – he said: “The job of Party Leader is to implement party policy, all of party policy, and nothing but party policy. Party policy is decided by Conference.

“If, like me, you are concerned that leadership spends too much time pontificating about what they claim party policy is rather than waiting for members to decide or telling journalists that the decision hasn’t been made yet and that questions about the specific details of the Independence Election will have to wait till Conference, I’d like to hear from you.”

He added: “I haven’t made any decisions but if you feel, as I do, that feet need to be held to the fire, please comment below.

“@HumzaYousaf promised to listen, I think we should make it clear that his position is conditional on living up to that promise.”

It is understood leadership positions within the SNP are available ahead of the party’s annual conference and 100 nominations are required from 20 different branches for a candidate to run.

An SNP source told the PA news agency: “Every member has a right to put themselves forward for party positions – no matter the odds of prevailing.”

The intervention comes after MP Angus MacNeil was suspended from the party after announcing he would not re-take the SNP whip at Westminster following a suspension.

He described the party’s strategy on independence as “clueless”, saying he would wait until after the October SNP conference to make a decision on re-joining the Westminster group.

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