Holyrood 2016: RISE accuses SNP of '˜backsliding' on independence

A NEW pro-independence party has slated the SNP for '˜backsliding' on Scottish independence.

RISE activists on the campaign stump. Picture: Colin Wright

Speaking in Glasgow at the launch of their Holyrood election manifesto today, RISE party activists claimed independence was ‘the elephant in the room’ in the election campaign.

In an interview with Buzzfeed, the party’s Lothians candidate Colin Fox said: “RISE is aware there are many, many SNP members and activists privately far from happy with the new party line.

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“They fear the SNP is backsliding on their central objective of independence and ought not to have ruled out another independence referendum for five years.

“That is why more and more people are turning to RISE with their second vote in these elections.”

The party’s manifesto included an election promise of free transport for all, which RISE claimed would boost the economy by between £300 million and £500 million. There was also a pledge to cap public sector wages at £100,000 and a maximum of two parliamentary terms for Holyrood politicians.

Candidates also said that radical policy ideas put forward in the document were there to provoke discussion.

RISE co-founder Jonathan Shafi said: “What we want to do is to put on the agenda very, very firmly that there needs to be a massive redistribution of wealth. Without that, without someone provoking that argument, it’s just not going to happen.”

An acronym of Respect, Independence, Socialism, Environmentalism, RISE was formed in 2014 from elements of the Radical Independence movement during the referendum campaign.

With a view to securing one MSP in each of the parliamentary regions, it has also pledged to use whatever influence it has at Holyrood to call for another referendum on independence and push the SNP to the left.

Mr Fox said: “The SNP, in our view, offers a conservative vision of Scotland.

“One that offers far too little to its strongest supporters in working-class areas of Scotland. They talk left but they act right.”