Politicians react to resignations of two SNP MSPs over Nato
POLITICIANS from the Scottish National Party and opposition parties at Holyrood have spoken out after two SNP MSPs - John Finnie and Jean Urquhart - are quitting the party over its controversial stance on Nato membership.
Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw MSP
“There is no doubt the cynical decision taken by the SNP to reverse its policy on joining Nato was nothing to do with defence matters and everything to do with winning the referendum.
“John Finnie has summed up his party’s hypocrisy to a tee – how can the SNP campaign to get rid of Trident while claiming it wants to join a nuclear-based military alliance?
“He and Jean Urquhart have to be praised for sticking to their principles and it will be interesting to see if the other rebels who opposed the U-turn on Nato on moral grounds will stand by their convictions and follow suit.
“They now have to examine their consciences, but there seems to be only one honourable option left open to them - they too must resign from the SNP.
“For Alex Salmond to lose two MSPs in a day is careless, but if any more walk then it would be a full-blown crisis for the SNP as support for the party’s separation dream ebbs away.
“This infighting should not distract from his plan to break up one of the finest fighting forces in the world.”
Isobel Lindsay, Vice Chair of Scottish CND
“Scottish CND have great respect for John Finnie and Jean Urquhart’s integrity.
“We are sure that they will continue to work for a non-nuclear independent Scotland that is not part of an aggressive military alliance.”
Highland MP Danny Alexander, who beat Mr Finnie for his Westminster seat in the 2010 general election
“These resignations illustrate clearly the divisions which exist within the SNP and the doubts of its own members about this Scottish Government which until now have been stifled.
“The party’s new position on Nato, as on defence in general is self contradictory and not in the best interests of the safety and security of the people of Scotland. It is now evident that even within the SNP there are those who recognise this policy, as so many other of their claims about independence is unsustainable. “Now that they have resigned from the party I hope John Finnie and Jean Urquhart will begin to speak up against those policies of the SNP such as centralising the police and fire services which are damaging to the Highlands. We need MSPs at Holyrood who will fight the SNP’s damaging drive to centralisation and keep our services local.”
Dave Thompson, SNP MSP for Skye, Lochaber and Badenoch, who also opposed the change of policy
“I’ve got huge respect for both John and Jean, who are committed Nationalists.
“I’m disappointed they’ve chosen to resign from the SNP over this issue. It is an issue people hold very strong views about.
“Personally I was against the change in our policy and campaigned very strongly against it, but I’ve got no intention personally of leaving the SNP. I’m going to stick in there and try to secure and build on the guarantees we were given during the debate.”
Drew Hendry, leader of Highland Council and SNP group leader
“I am saddended by their decision. It is the wrong decision for me, but I respect their decision.”
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Friday 24 May 2013
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