SNP's Tommy Sheppard urges review of independence white paper

The SNP must review its 'White paper' blueprint for Scottish independence if another referendum is to be held, according to one of the party's deputy leadership candidates.

MP Tommy Sheppard, who is bidding to be SNP deputy leader. Picture: Contributed
MP Tommy Sheppard, who is bidding to be SNP deputy leader. Picture: Contributed

Edinburgh MP Tommy Sheppard says the 650-page “guide to an independent Scotland” will have to be “dusted down” before a new version is presented to Scots. The prospect of a second vote on leaving the UK looks increasingly likely after the Brexit vote which saw Scots buck the UK trend and vote decisively to stay in the EU. Mr Sheppard, who was elected to Westminster in the Nationalist landslide in 2015, said: “We have to set out a vision and we did that very successfully (in 2014).

“We had a 650-page white paper on which the vote was based so people can’t say they didn’t know what they were voting for. I think every part of the that white paper is obviously going to have to be looked at and reviewed and dusted down and re-presented if and when we get to a next independence referendum. There’s no surprise there, but independence is about the right to choose. It’s about the ability of the people who live in this country to decide its future.”

Another candidate in the deputy leadership contest, Inverclyde councillor Chris McEleny, said he backed a 50p tax rate for high earners and wanted to abolish the Queen as head of state.

He added: “I campaigned for a 50p tax rate ahead of the 2015 general election.

“From a grassroots perspective we didn’t get the opportunity to feed into the 2016 Holyrood manifesto, and had that been the case I would have certainly put forward the case for that.

“I believe in the principle that those who earn large salaries should pay more.”