SNP decision on rebel MSP Fergus Ewing delayed until next week, as Mhari Black urges youth to vote in Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election

The decision around Fergus Ewing's future within the SNP has been delayed for a further week.

SNP MSPs were due to hold a meeting to decide what, if any, disciplinary measures should be taken against the veteran nationalist this evening.

Attendance was mandatory, though MSPs were set to be given a free vote on the matter. Some within the party had said they hoped a resolution could be found amicably among the group.

That meeting has now been delayed for a further week.

SNP MSP Fergus Ewing. Picture: PASNP MSP Fergus Ewing. Picture: PA
SNP MSP Fergus Ewing. Picture: PA
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Mr Ewing is a fierce critic of Humza Yousaf and the power-sharing deal between the SNP and the Scottish Greens.

The Scotsman exclusively revealed earlier this year that he faced losing the whip after he voted against the government in a no-confidence motion in Green minister, Lorna Slater, over the deposit return scheme.

SNP deputy Westminster leader Mhairi Black has meanwhile urged young people to turn out in the Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election next month, claiming "Westminster has shafted young people across Scotland".

Ms Black, who still holds the record for the youngest MP ever elected when she was voted into Westminster at just 20, wrote an open letter to young people ahead of the October 5 poll.

She claimed the new voter ID law that will be implemented for the first time in Scotland in the South Lanarkshire seat was designed "to stop eligible voters from having their say at elections", disproportionately impacting young people.

The Paisley and Renfrewshire South MP sought to paint Labour – her party's main opponent in the seat – as "pro-Brexit" and anti-young people.

"The pro-Brexit Labour Party is lurching further and further to the right under Sir Keir Starmer, who has abandoned young people by dumping a raft of policies, including the right to free higher education," she said.

"In Scotland, the SNP has achieved so much for young people: scrapping tuition fees, free bus travel for under-22s, rent controls to give more rights to tenants and delivered real action on the climate crisis as one of the first nations to declare a global climate emergency.

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"With independence we could do so much more. Young people deserve so much more than a narrow choice between red Tories and blue Tories. No wonder Westminster is blocking eligible voters from having their say."

She also hit out at the Westminster system, saying: "Bluntly, Westminster has shafted young people across Scotland.

"The cost-of-living crisis has forced prices up and squeezed incomes, turning the goal of home ownership into a pipe dream for many young people who are blocked from getting on the property ladder.

"Then there's Brexit. Brexit, supported by both the Labour Party and the Tories, has ripped away so many opportunities from young people in Scotland.”

Ms Black's intervention came as Labour's candidate in the seat, Michael Shanks, called for the SNP's Katy Loudon to condemn plans to downgrade neonatal care at University Hospital Wishaw and consolidate care in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen.

A petition in opposition to the plans has garnered more than 12,000 signatures.



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