Earlier today at the ALBA party conference, former SNP minister and contender for the leadership of the SNP earlier this year, Ash Regan MSP, announced that she has become a member of ALBA and has resigned from the SNP.

The Edinburgh Eastern MSP has written a letter of resignation to SNP leader, Humza Yousaf, which has been published on Facebook. IN the letter she writes: “I am writing to you on a matter of great importance and significance. It was a distinct privilege to be elected in 2016 on an independence platform; riding the wave of optimism that the 2014 Independence referendum ignited across Scotland. “Serving the constituents who entrusted me with their votes has been an equally humbling experience. Moreover, my time as a Minister in the Scottish Government was an honour, and I am proud of the positive impacts I’ve been able to make as part of the SNP Group.

“So, it is with a heavy heart that I write to inform you that I am resigning my membership of the Scottish National Party, effective immediately. In recent times, it has become increasingly clear that the direction of the party leadership is diverging from the commitments we made in our 2021 manifesto- commitments that were crucial to our shared cause and to the hopes of our supporters. Furthermore, the policy shifts following the arrangement with the Green Party have been deeply concerning. My resignation from Ministerial Office over the Gender Recognition Bill was a stand based on principle, one that I will continue to

“But the most significant concern for me has been the diminishing focus on the core mission of the Scottish National Party: Independence for Scotland. It is to remain true to this mission, and to the promise I made to the voters, that I am joining the ALBA Party. Please know that my commitment to Scotland’s best interests remains unwavering. I look forward to opportunities for collaboration in the Scottish Parliament on issues where we find common ground.
“My door will always be open for constructive dialogue with you and your colleagues.
“I wish you and the SNP the best in your future endeavours, even as our paths diverge for now.”

Ms Regan also said: “It was a distinct privilege to be elected in 2016 on an independence platform; riding the wave of optimism that the 2014 Independence referendum ignited across Scotland. And it has been an honour to serve the people of Scotland as an MSP and a Minister. Sadly, it has become increasingly clear that the SNP has lost its focus on Independence, the very foundation of its existence. I could not, in good conscience, continue to be part of a party that has drifted from its path and its commitment to achieving Independence as a matter of urgency.

“Today, I am proud to take up the mantle of leadership for ALBA at Holyrood and to become the first ALBA Member of the Scottish Parliament. I do this with a clear focus on reinvigorating the cause of Independence and delivering on the promise that was made to the Scottish electorate in 2016 and 2021. I am committed to working tirelessly to create a Scotland that leads, not follows—a Scotland that leads the way in living standards, economic resilience, and innovation.”

Scottish Labour Deputy Leader Jackie Baillie said “16 years of command and control has come crashing down spectacularly as the SNP is hit by yet another defection. 

“This divided and chaotic party is incapable of standing up for Scotland – but Labour will. 

“Only Labour has a real plan to deliver the transformative change Scotland needs – we will make work pay with our New Deal for Working People, drive down bills with our Clean Energy Mission and put Scotland’s voice at the heart of government.”

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “The very last thing our parliament needs is MSPs who want to ramp up the campaign for separation and division.
“Amid a cost-of-living crisis and with our NHS and public services in disarray under the SNP, all MSPs should have a laser-like focus on what really matters.
“Constituents deserve to have representatives who always put people’s priorities first, not nationalist priorities.”

Ash Regan MSP At Dynamic Earth in the last few days of the SNP Leadership campaign PHOTO ©2023 The Edinburgh Reporter
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