Humza Yousaf: We can take final steps towards independence
A prominent activist group has taken aim at SNP leader Humza Yousaf as a row erupted over Scottish independence events.
All Under One Banner (AUOB) accused the SNP of being “contemptuous” after it emerged a special convention on independence would be held on the same day as one of its events.
The SNP announced over the weekend that the conference for party members to discuss plans to break up the UK will take place in Dundee on June 24 – the same day as an AUOB march in Stirling.
In a tweet yesterday, the activist group said: “We wrote to Humza inviting him to speak at Stirling 24 June, and received a weird reply – swiftly followed by news that he’s chosen to clash with the national demonstration by holding an SNP conference on the same day.
“Why? Reactionary and contemptuous. De facto anti-YES behaviour.”
The delayed conference was originally scheduled for March, but was postponed after the resignation of Nicola Sturgeon.
The SNP’s Depute Leader today admitted it is “unfortunate” different parts of the independence movement are lashing out at each other.
Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland, Keith Brown said: “I think it’s unfortunate when parts of the Yes movement have that kind of go at each other, to be honest.
“I’ve attended any number of AUOB marches, have spoken at many of them indeed, and in this case this is the last week before the summer recess, this is the date which the SNP need to have its discussion on.”
Mr Brown went on to say there should be “different activities” held across the Yes movement.
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He said: “There’s nothing wrong with the SNP, its members, demanding and having the opportunity to discuss a strategy for the way forward for independence and the next Westminster election.”
The former Scottish Government minister added that the SNP was “perfectly entitled” to discuss its strategy on independence.
He said: “We’re not going to achieve independence without a wider Yes movement, just as the wider Yes movement won’t achieve it without the SNP.”
According to Scotland’s independence minister Jamie Hepburn, the use of the next general election as a “de facto referendum” will remain on the table – a strategy the new Scottish First Minister has distanced himself from but one which was favoured by his predecessor.
Asked about the possibility of the UK Government simply refusing to engage after a majority win for the SNP, Mr Brown said: “That has to be put to the UK Government, why do they want to deny democracy?”
He added: “It’s the UK Government that is acting peculiarly, wrongly and in my view like a rogue state.
“We are trying to find a democratic route through to express the democratic wishes of the people of Scotland, as they’ve endorsed in repeated elections.”
But Scottish Tory constitution spokesman Donald Cameron said Mr Brown sounded “increasingly desperate”.
Mr Cameron added: “Describing the UK as a rogue state and reaching for French Polynesia as somewhere to compare to simply will not wash with the vast majority of Scots who do not want to see another divisive referendum take place.
“He is whipping up his rhetoric because he knows that breaking up the UK is the only thing his divided party still agree on.”
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