Nicola Sturgeon: Glasgow ‘rose to the occasion’ for COP26
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The Scottish nationalist outfit’s management style is reportedly so secretive that even its own members are demanding a radical rethink amid concerns over “transparency”. Sick of the perceived lack of accountability, grassroots members have put forward a plan to make major changes to its governance ahead of next week’s conference.
This could “embarrass” the party’s top brass – who are also dealing with a row regarding £600,000 in donations to pay for another independence referendum campaign.
Members are making calls for the reintroduction of the SNP National Council which traditionally acted as the body that set party policy and acted as a bridge between members and the leadership, the Scottish Daily Express reported.
It was abolished for 2018 and replaced by a national assembly, at which party members from Scottish Parliament regions are represented.
In a resolution calling for its reinstatement, the SNP Eastwood branch claimed that abolishing the council “reduced opportunities for policy-making and scrutiny.”
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“Improvements are needed” in the running of the party to give members as many opportunities as possible to formulate policy and question elected representatives, it said.
It added: “Conference calls on the NEC to bring forward constitutional amendments to restore the National Council as a forum for policy-making and scrutiny.”
Ms Sturgeon – who is also the First Minister of Scotland – and her husband Peter Murrell – the SNP’s chief executive – were already under pressure from members over having too much control of the running of the party.
This came after the final report of the Governance Review Group, chaired by SNP depute leader Keith Brown, suggested ways to improve the party’s transparency.
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However, the group said in the final report there wasn’t “significant demand to reintroduce National Council.”
Responding to the news, Scottish Conservative Chief Whip Stephen Kerr MSP, said: “Even SNP members can see that their party hates being scrutinised.
“All too often, decisions among the governing party are being taken in secret.
“The Scottish Conservatives have long called for open and transparency from the SNP when it comes to decision-making.
“Now the party’s senior leadership could be embarrassed by party members at their own conference if they don’t agree to these calls for greater levels of scrutiny.”
Neil Bibby MSP, Scottish Labour’s Business Manager, said: “SNP members are clearly growing tired of the party leadership’s shameless quest to hoard power.
“This obsession with centralisation is rife in their government and the party – it is little wonder members are starting to push back.
“It seems the SNP are almost as out of touch with their members as they are with the Scottish public.”
Express.co.uk has approached the SNP for comment.
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