SNP urged to ‘come together’ by its former Westminster leader

Ian Blackford’s comments came just 24 hours after SNP chairman Mike Russell told The Herald newspaper that Scottish independence cannot be secured in the immediate future amid the ongoing police investigation into the party finances.

Blackford told the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland program on Monday that Russell was signaling the party was facing “a very difficult period” and warned that “political parties that are not united tend to face electoral challenges.”

The Ross, Skye and Lochaber MP added: “I would call on everyone in the party to come together now that the election contest for leader and Prime Minister has ended.

SNP funds research
Police Scotland raided the SNP’s Edinburgh headquarters last week as they continue their investigation into its finances (Lesley Martin/PA)

Yousaf narrowly beat rival Kate Forbes in the leadership contest last month.

Blackford, who endorsed Yousaf to replace Nicola Sturgeon as leader, added: “In fact, when I look at the course of the early days of Humza’s leadership, I think he made a number of very positive announcements.”

He said the party needs to “make sure we are up to the challenges that we have” and that it is ready to face its first electoral contest of next year’s general election.

He said: “I am optimistic, but we must make sure we show that we are worthy of the support of the people of Scotland.”

He added: “If you look at support for independence, it’s still hovering around or close to the 50% level.

“We need to show that we are worthy of the people’s trust and it’s about, I would say, the Scottish government delivering on all the devolved areas and doing the work that we need to do to show that the best response for Scotland is to become an independent country. ”.

SNP funds research
Police searched the home of Nicola Sturgeon and Peter Murrell last week (Robert Perry/PA)

Last week, Peter Murrell, former chief executive of the SNP and husband of Ms Sturgeon, was arrested and his home was searched by police. He was later released without charge.

Speaking outside her home in Uddingston on Saturday, Ms Sturgeon said the past few days had been “obviously difficult” and she would “fully cooperate” with the police investigation.

She said Murrell was “unable to say anything” about his arrest while the investigation continues.

“Again, that’s not necessarily a matter of choice. That is the nature of this,” she added.

The Glasgow Southside MSP said he intends to “get on with life and my work, as I would hopefully do”.


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