Alex Neil reveals he and '˜a number' of SNP MSPs backed Brexit

Former SNP minister Alex Neil revealed he went against the party's official position and voted for Brexit.

Former Cabinet secretary Alex Neil. Picture: John Devlin
Former Cabinet secretary Alex Neil. Picture: John Devlin

Mr Neil told the Daily Telegraph that he decided to vote Leave ten days before the referendum poll on 23rd June, saying that other colleagues in the party had done the same.

The MSP for Airdrie and Shotts and former Cabinet secretary under Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon said he was unconvinced by the Remain ‘scare’ campaign and decided to back leaving the European Union.

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SNP party policy was to remain in the EU, with First Minister Nicola Sturgeon campaigning heavily for a Remain vote.

In an interview with the newspaper, Neil said: “In the last ten days of the campaign I was persuaded and George Osborne just tipped me over with his emergency budget.

“I saw the scaremongering and there was no way I was going to endorse it. I was not going to vote for George Osborne and David Cameron’s scare campaign.”

He had previously claimed Ms Sturgeon could use Brexit to secure new powers for the Scottish Parliament and bring about “neo-independence”.