By Lucy Ashton
Scottish Labour has set out a list of SNP MPs and MSPs who left or were removed from the party during an investigation of some kind – in sharp contrast to the party’s continued backing for Nicola Sturgeon, Peter Murrell and Colin Beattie.
Over the course of Sturgeon’s leadership of the SNP, the scandal-hit party removed the whip from six sitting MPs and MSPs while various investigations were carried out.
This includes three politicians suspended as a direct result of police probes – Michelle Thomson, Natalie McGarry and Patrick Grady.
In total eight prominent politicians were either removed from the party or quit the party amid a scandal in those eight years.
Jackie Baillie, RIGHT, said: “The SNP high command clearly don’t think the rules apply to them.
“The party’s failure to suspend senior figures embroiled in a police investigation reeks of favouritism and betrays a blatant double standard.
“Under Nicola Sturgeon’s leadership a long list of scandal-hit SNP politicians were removed from the party while under investigation, but Humza Yousaf is giving his chums free pass.
“This arrogant and sleaze-ridden party needs to start operating with some much needed transparency and consistency, starting by suspending Nicola Sturgeon, Peter Murrell and Colin Beattie.”
Current, former or prospective SNP MPs and MSPs who quit or resigned their membership amid a scandal since 2015:
- September 2015: Michelle Thomson was forced to resign the whip and consequently suspended from the SNP the same day Police Scotland confirmed they were carrying out “an initial investigation into alleged irregularities”.
- November 2015: Natalie McGarry resigned the whip and was suspended from the SNP as a result of the Police Scotland investigation into financial discrepancies involving Women for Independence. Nicola Sturgeon described this as the “right thing to have done”.
- November 2017: Mark McDonald was suspended from both the SNP group and the party while investigations into misconduct allegations took place.
- August 2018: Alex Salmond resigned from the SNP in anticipation of being suspended. At this time Nicola Sturgeon said she “understood” the decision.
- November 2019: Neale Hanvey was suspended from the SNP pending disciplinary action in response to allegedly antisemitic social media posts while standing as a candidate.
- February 2020: Derek Mackay was suspended from the SNP group and party pending further investigation into inappropriate messages to a school boy.
- October 2020: Margaret Ferrier had the SNP whip removed and was suspended from the party ahead of police and parliamentary standards investigation into her breach of Covid rules.
- June 2022: Patrick Grady stepped away from SNP membership when a police investigation into his sexual misconduct began.