Labor Party urges incoming SNP leader to ‘clean up the rot’ in party

The incoming SNP leader must “clean up the rot” within the party, the Scottish Labor Party has warned.

Scottish Labor deputy leader Jackie Baillie has urged Nicola Sturgeon’s successor to lead with “transparency and openness” amid the SNP membership controversy.

It comes as figures released by the SNP showed the party had lost 30,000 members in just over a year, a claim it had previously denied.

Earlier this month, the party confirmed that it now has 72,186 members eligible to vote.

The resignations of both the party’s chief executive, Peter Murrell, and its head of communications, Murray Foote, followed.

And as leadership candidates Humza Yousaf, Kate Forbes and Ash Regan wait to hear whether SNP members have chosen them as the new leader, Ms Baillie accused the party of “secrecy and manipulation”.

His comments come as Police Scotland is investigating the party’s finances, specifically how £600,000 of campaign funds were spent.

He also called for questions to be answered about the two ferries which are now five years behind schedule and the cost has nearly tripled to £300m.

Ms Baillie said: “The next SNP leader needs to clean up the rot that is rotting this party.

“After 16 years in government, the SNP has become arrogant and out of touch, with an increasingly lax relationship with the truth.

Comments from Jackie Baillie MSP
Scottish Labor deputy leader Jackie Baillie (Andrew Milligan/PA)

“In the party and in the government we are seeing more and more evidence of secrecy, twists and outright lies.

“Sunlight is the best disinfectant – we need real transparency and openness to end the culture of cover-up at the heart of the SNP.”

An SNP spokesman said: “The new SNP leader will focus on delivering on the priorities of the people of Scotland, including tackling the Conservative cost-of-living crisis, improving public services and strengthening the economy. .

“The pro-Brexit, pro-cuts Labor Party has become little more than a pale imitation of the Tories under Keir Starmer. It is completely cut off from Scotland and has nothing to offer.

“With no change to Westminster’s offer, it is clear that independence is the only way to escape Westminster’s grip and bring about real change for a strong, just and prosperous future.”

On Monday afternoon, the next leader of the SNP will be announced after a five-week campaign.

They will then be elected as prime minister at Holyrood on Tuesday, subject to parliamentary approval and then be sworn in at the Court of Session the following day.

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