Campaigning Duchess quits SNP claiming '˜disconnect' between leadership and members

One of the SNP's most high-profile supporters has announced her resignation from the party saying she can no longer tolerate the 'stark disconnect' between the party's upper echelons and its members.
Kay Hamilton, Dowager Duchess of Hamilton. Picture: Ian GeorgesonKay Hamilton, Dowager Duchess of Hamilton. Picture: Ian Georgeson
Kay Hamilton, Dowager Duchess of Hamilton. Picture: Ian Georgeson

Kay Hamilton, Dowager Duchess of Hamilton, who was married to Angus, the 15th Duke of Hamilton, Scotland’s premier duke who died in 2010, had been due to give a speech at the party’s annual conference in Aberdeen which starts today, focussing on her opposition to the SNP’s recent decisions on animal welfare.

This includes not supporting a UK-wide ban on the exporting of live animals for slaughter after the UK leaves the UK.

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However, she was told at the eleventh hour that she was not being allowed to speak.

Kay Hamilton, who lives in East Lothian, said in a statement: “Firstly, I wish to state that I would rather have given my comrades in the SNP grassroots the respect of my raising related issues and announcing my departure at Conference.

“I was however informed that I would be unable to speak on topics unrelated to resolutions on agenda.

“I am cancelling my membership as I believe there is now a stark disconnect between the upper echelons of the SNP and its members, especially on the issue of animal rights and welfare.

“Indeed, on these matters, the disconnect also applies between this stratum of our party and the Scottish public.

“The fundamental basis of any political party should be the protection of the vulnerable, the defence of the defenceless and the championing of the voiceless.

She added: “Some changes have come but after much pressure and even greater humming, hawing and delay by law makers. Further, when laid out, even these have been nowhere near adequate.”

She is now joining the London-based Animal Welfare Party which campaigns on animal welfare, environment and health.