‘Control freak’ Sturgeon’s ‘Stalinist power grab’ sees members axed from SNP ruling body

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The SNP National Executive Committee (NEC), the highest decision-making body for the party, is being slimmed down from 42 to 32 members. However, around half of the party’s regional representatives are set for the chop, who represent thousands of members across hundreds of branches across Scotland.


But the move has sparked fears over the lack of scrutiny the party will have from members in future following the “slimming down.”

Chiefs are currently embroiled in a row regarding £600,000 in donations to pay for another referendum campaign.

Party insiders suggest the cash has been spent on legal fees and refurbishing the Edinburgh headquarters.

But the SNP denies the claims but Police Scotland is investigating multiple allegations of fraud.

In a draft paper, the Nats said: “Feedback from our consultation highlighted the need for further reform of the NEC, not least from those with experience of NEC membership.”

It argues the meetings of the NEC, which take place monthly have “lengthy agendas” which causes “minimised opportunities for participation, scrutiny and debate.”

The paper added: “Recognising the size of our membership and the expertise within it, there wasn’t a huge appetite for drastically reducing the size of NEC, but rather a modest slimming down and changes to the model of operation.

“Our proposal reduces the number of NEC members to 32.”

But Neil Bibby MSP, Scottish Labour business manager, said: “This looks like a shameless attempt by the SNP leadership to tighten their grip on the party.

“This control freakery is all too typical from the SNP, whose record in government has been defined by it.”

Former Nat Kenny MacAskill, now an Alba Party MP, branded the move as a “power grab” by party chiefs.

He added: “The SNP has gone from being one of the most democratic political parties to being one of the most autocratic.

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“This Sturgeon power grab is just the latest example and one of which any Stalinist would be proud.

“All power in the SNP is concentrated in the hands of two people.

“Its leader and its chief executive who are of course married to each other.

“This unhealthy dynamic does not allow criticism or dissent and this move is designed to remove the last vestiges of democracy from the SNP and to ensure the NEC is nothing more than a rubber stamp for the leader and chief executive.

“It does this by changing the balance away from those elected by the members and towards those appointed.”

Alex Cole-Hamilton MSP, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats, said: “Things must be pretty desperate within the internal civil war in the governing party if they [the SNP] are having to carve up the Executive Committee in this way.”

The SNP has been approached for comment.

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