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Rogue Trooper

Posted on March 16, 2023 by

Hats off to the SNP. Every time we think that the party’s leadership election can’t get any more absurdly farcical, they pull something extra-mad out of the bag.

After this happened yesterday, it suddenly become “known” across the Scottish media that the SNP NEC was going to hold an extraordinary meeting in order to authorise the release of the membership figures after all three candidates demanded them.

Some of the country’s most senior hacks, including BBC Scotland’s Political Editor and the editor of the Daily Record, sombrely informed their readers of the development.

Only trouble was, nobody had told the SNP NEC.

Wings has confirmed with other current NEC members that they’ve been told nothing about any meeting today. (One of them also told us that “I’ll definitely be resigning if the NEC refuses [to release the membership numbers]. The whole thing’s a joke.”)

The only SNP source we can find for the claim that the meeting was taking place (and the person Andy Stuart was replying to) was former Glasgow City Council member Mhairi Hunter, who is also Nicola Sturgeon’s election agent and general consigliere.

Hunter is certainly someone Glenn Campbell and Paul Hutcheon would regard as a credible source, and seems to be the only such person who’s briefed that a meeting was taking place. Whether she went rogue off her own bat or whether she was acting as Sturgeon’s mouthpiece as usual but has now been suddenly thrown under the bus by her and/or Peter Murrell is something we don’t have enough information to say.

So what now? It seems clear that the NEC will NOT in fact be meeting today, and will therefore not be complying with the three candidates’ demands. Ash Regan has said that she’ll give a statement outside the Parliament if the figures are not released by 3pm today, as it now appears they won’t be.

It’s widely expected that she’ll announce she’s filing a court interdict to suspend the election, and after yesterday’s events it would be astonishing if she wasn’t supported by the other two candidates in doing so, given that they would obviously look like the most appalling sort of hypocrites.

(The alternative is that despite an official SNP statement yesterday that they wouldn’t release the membership figures, CEO Peter Murrell and/or National Secretary Lorna Finn will suddenly discover that they CAN in fact do so even without being authorised by the NEC. The party President himself has given his public backing to the move. But at this point the entire contest is so mired in stink that that might not be enough to stop the legal challenge.)

The wider ramifications of any significant delay to the election would… well, let’s leave that for another article. We need to go out and buy more popcorn.


[EDIT 11.44am: In an extraordinary development, the media has now been told that the NEC is being consulted after all, not via a Zoom meeting but by email.

They have just over three hours in which to all check their email, consider the matter and send their response. We hope none of them are out at the shops or anything.]

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0 to “Rogue Trooper”

  1. Ryan McAllister says:

    Bloody hell, grab the popcorn.

  2. Grahame Case says:

    I’m going to buy one of those 10kg Popcorn bags that the cinemas get.

  3. Geoff Anderson says:

    “If the can’t find the bodies we have a chance of getting away with it”

    “keep them busy with bullshit while we burn our clothes and clean our fingernails.”

    Remember what we agreed….”Humza did it”

  4. David says:

    Grahame Case says:
    16 March, 2023 at 11:02 am
    I’m going to buy one of those 10kg Popcorn bags that the cinemas get.

    Better make that a daily order.
    What an absolute stinking binfire Sturgeon/Murrell have turned the SNP into

  5. Moray Mint says:

    A good snack option for today is Asda “Pizza At Home” ‘Nduja pizza. It’s £2 in the frozen section and tremendous!

    This has been a community support announcement.

  6. Daisy Walker says:

    Ash is certainly displaying an ability to take brave and leading actions. Grown up, hard decisions.

    Effie Deans (of all people) – has made the point that on £150,000 of yearly tax payers money, the role of First Minister has got to be selected in a legal, fair and transparent manner.

  7. MrRocknRoll says:

    This would make a great Netflix series. I’m settling in for this. Popcorn? Check. Buckfast? Check. Wonder where Wishart buys his comfy slippers..

  8. PIND DADAN KHAN says:

    Gonna play the Devil’s Advocate here. What’s the big deal about knowing true SNP membership numbers? Sure, there’s been rumours & titbit gossip about membership numbers being massaged but I’ve yet to see hard proof of anything dodgy.

  9. Beauvais says:

    Aye, Mhairi Hunter just isn’t, as they say, a wartime consigliere.

    Or perhaps it’s that realises she’d better start distancing herself from the Murrells.

  10. Lenny Hartley says:

    Save yourself money, you can get a popcorn making machine on Amazon for £22, only problem is that they wesr out, im on my third this year and another on way as backup 🙂

  11. robertkknight says:

    Oh, bloody hell!

    That does it – I can’t take any more popcorn.

    I’m of to buy marshmallows!

    Back in a tic…

  12. Frank Anderson says:

    More and more like NuLabour by the hour!
    First they change the rules, then they ignore the rules then the rules disappear. Now possibly ending up in a court case to decide if an election campaign is transparent.
    What have the NuSNP done to the Independence campaign? Instead of blaming everyone else ( who is still in the party) for bringing it into disrepute, they need to have a long hard look at the themselves on the NEC (power crazy),have a mass clear out and get back to Independence. It’s not just members that are leaving, it’s voters as well in droves.

  13. Kenny says:

    I’m an Alba Party member.
    If I were a football fan I’d be chanting “Murrell must stay!” Lol..

  14. Michael Bruce says:

    Clearly, Mhairi Hunter is not a wartime consigliere.

  15. Lollysmum says:

    Farce doesn’t begin to describe what’s happening with the SNP right now. Its not a poilitical Party now Just a Political EMBARRASSMENT & existing members are to casting votes for the leadership role.

    The whole SNP thing needs shutting down- no idea what to call it as it certainly isn’t a party of any kind. Anyone voting in this election needs their head testing.

  16. Antoine Roquentin says:

    Kieron Jenkins, here’s a story: get yourself round to Hollyrood for 3 o’clock, son!

  17. Gregory Beekman says:

    A court interdict? That’s going to sting the SNP, like, forever.

  18. David Beveridge says:

    What a shower of useless, incompetent bstrds. How hard can it be to read a number out FFS? No wonder they can’t launch a fkin ferry.

  19. Garrion says:

    About 1000 years ago, at the beginning of this slow motion re-enactment of the Hindenberg disaster I called three likely scenarios, all bad for independence.

    The first was a clearly and floridly bent process, irreparable harm to the reputation of the SNP, obviously corrupt installation of HY (deliberate demolition, scorched earth, ploughing the land with salt).

    The second was the above, but with a still orchestrated insertion of a more acceptable candidate somehow coming in from the wings (the ol’ bait and switch), so continuity but with the added bonus of a seriously diminished party.

    The third was the first election process (the old evil empire), but a ‘new hope’ taking the mantle(we Scots are suckers for the hero myth), but to a fundamentally flawed, corrupted and dishonoured shell of a party. The work it will take to repair and renew the party to the machine it was under Salmond will likely take years.

  20. bluegrass banjo says:

    hope an update FMQs

    just kidding

    will ASH hold her press conference 3pm

  21. Ian McCubbin says:

    Well it just gets worse. This SNP is so corrupt. Glad Ash is going to mount a legal challenge

  22. TheSNPLeftMe says:

    Looking forward to FMQs – even Ross can’t miss that target. Her folder won’t help much today. I will be interested to see who fights for the camera shot seats behind “The Nicola”

  23. Craig P says:

    Whoever ends up being leader of the SNP, its now Ash Regan who is controlling the narrative of this leadership campaign.

  24. JockMcT says:

    You can see the legacy here, just what sturgeon has done to the party. The NEC is now full of amateur nodding dogs. The circus is in town and the clowns are running amok. Is this part of the grand plan to pull the whole house down?

  25. sadscot says:

    It’s not funny but I did laugh when Yousaf’s man Gray claimed they’d “asked” for the info the day before AR and KF. Gray and Yousaf are so well matched in the lying game. It’ll be hilarious if Yousaf is now pressured into backing anything else today.

  26. Vivian O’Blivion says:

    If I was a NEC member I’d be resigning anyway. The way the party is incorporated, they’re personally liable for any outgoing that isn’t covered by liquid assets. Whether this personal liability still applies after the point of resignation (where the root source of the liability predates the resignation) is beyond my ken. Still, get that resignation in quick and hope for the best.

  27. JockMcT says:

    Anyone else mad about the arse they are making of our country. The arrogance, the gall, the shamelessness of it all. Do they really think we all zip up the back, do they think they have dumbed enough of us down to get away with this charade? They are so wrong yet will carry on regardless. It’s long past time we took our country back.

    As for Murrel, his “wife” and their coterie, get them all jailed and let’s clean this rat’s nest out. I think that even if AR (or KF) wins the SNP is dead in the water, gone, past saving. Let it sink like a laden ferry and give it the deep six.

    Enough is enough, and we have eaten enough carrot cake for a lifetime. Let’s hope that enough good people remain to fill the void with something better, let’s free the elephant from the room and get our movement back on track. It’s time the gloves were off.

  28. Astonished says:

    Good Grief

    They are ‘going to the mattresses’. With Mhairi as consigliere and Mike Russell as the hammer. Hilarious.

    I think tonight a lot of the Sturgeon transcult will metaphorically be receiving fish wrapped in newspaper.

    Couldn’t happen to a more deserving bunch.

    P.S. Is Humza still being ‘progressive’ ? I assume ‘progressive’ means ‘doing everything the transcult ask’. If he adds his name to the application for an interdict – The transcult will turn on him. If he doesn’t the decent folk will turn on him. Couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.

  29. Eric says:

    If a number of eligible voters is provided, wonder if the number can be validated via the bank account money in?

  30. PhilM says:

    I wonder who they’ll get to play Peter Murrell in Orange is the New Yellow and Black?
    If there’s going to be inclusive casting, clearly Mhairi Hunter will be played by Gerard Butler…

  31. Alex Stone says:

    I’ve got the vegan pizza and snacks in, and the BIG Linux computer warmed up for the day’s events.

    Let’s hope it’s interesting, and fatal for the Murrell/Sturgeon cult.

  32. Jim Thomson says:

    And, by “NEC” do they include the hangers-on special interest groups?

  33. bipod says:

    It can’t be because they are embarrassed about losing thousands of members during nicolas tenure. It is just not worth it to hide those numbers now that she is gone.

    There has to be something else going on for peter murrell to so desperately conceal the numbers.

  34. Etticus says:

    All those years keeping dead folk on the roll, accepting dogs and cats as members, memberships for kids etc as presents… lovely stuff.

    I wager we are below 50,000… maybe significantly below that considering they struggled to fill a corner of that conference hall in Aberdeen.

  35. sadscot says:

    Meanwhile the National reports that Yousaf is accusing his two rivals of using “baseless smears” to discredit the election process.
    Good old Yousaf, the guy who doesn’t sling mud! He’s also the guy who, according to his lackey, asked for the same info requested by Forbes and Regan the day before they did! And he wonders why no one trusts him.

  36. Louise Hogg says:

    Several possible readings:

    1. February meeting Nicola encourages Kate Forbes to stand, genuinely. Hopes she’ll win, steady the ship, but be manipulatable and can be persuaded not to out the cabal, or at least not central figures. NEC and the Robertsons and Alyn Smith instead ensure Humza is arranged as the chosen one and intimidate Nicola into enabling that. NEC et al decide, before or after resignation, that Nicola can be the scapegoat. Even possible that they forced her resignation in hopes of making her the scapegoat. So they go rogue. Nicola is no longer controlling them. When she announces NEC meeting and figures release, via Mhairi Hunter, they stick the finger up and coorie further in to the bunker.

    2. February meeting Kate Forbes is encouraged to stand, but as the setup target, as has been speculated, to make Humza’s coronation look like a contest. Plan clearly failing. Ash backed by Jo Cherry making things worse. All cooried in the bunker. But rats beginning to jump ship. Mhairi Hunter distancing herself from Sturrells. Even Mike Russell and Pete Wishart saying figures should be published.

    3. Mix of 1 and 2, but with Nicola deciding yesterday that figures should be published and reporting this via Mhairi Hunter. Peter Murrell and the rest of the cabal realise Nicola is about to throw THEM under a bus, in hopes either of passing the buck OR at least spreading the blame. So they go rogue and refuse to co-operate.

    I reckon Ash, Kate and Jo Cherry HAVE to push this to an interdict. Apart from anything else, at what point does Alistair Jack intervene? And potentially install an actual Tory ‘caretaker FM’ directly?

  37. Graham+Fordyce says:

    No disrespect, but it’s an utter disgrace that we have to rely on you to provide honest, up-to-date, accurate information on how the Scottish National Party conducts itself.
    I have visions of Cersei paraded down a street from Game of Thrones.

  38. Stuart MacKay says:

    The SNP inner circle are screwed no matter what happens. If they release the membership figures then the game is up. If they don’t then Regan, at absolute minimum, exposes the intention to rig the election and invites further scrutiny, possibly legal. Are NEC members open to charges of election fraud or the like?

    Yousaf is now totally screwed. By belatedly calling for the figures to be released he’s now aligned his campaign against the people backing him, whether he likes it or not.

    I guess Murrell has to start earning his salary right now if everybody wants to stay in a job and possibly out of jail. How can they recover from this?

  39. Jason Hoffman says:

    It seems that they run their party in the same way they run the country.


    And this is the party we trust to run a newly independent Scotland…

  40. d wade says:

    Those whom the gods wish to destroy, they first make mad.

  41. Sean says:

    One aspect of the past 48hrs that are now clear as ever.

    The party president, NEC, staffers etc all appear to be utterly rudderless.

    Is this now evidence that Sturgeon has officially stopped engaging and directing these individuals as she clearly has done for years and what we see is the chaos now filling the void she once inhabited?

    With the police investigations and external scrutiny she is now under maybe she has given up control and shows why Lloyd has been dropped in.

  42. David Holden says:

    No so much a bin fire but the whole landfill is ablaze and the flames may even engulf a nearby town. Lets face is this shower could not be trusted to run a bath never mind a country.

  43. ClanDonald says:

    Murrell was boasting about membership numbers on a daily basis back in the good old days when numbers were sky-rocketing. He didn’t appear to need NEC permission to do so then. I’m sure the minutes will confirm.

    So is the so-called need for NEC permission now just another ruse to divert blame away from him for his failure to be transparent? “It was them that stopped me.”

  44. Mia says:

    It is beyond me how anybody can start any form of election without establishing first who the electorate are. For instance, who are they sending the ballots to? Just to random entries in their database? To random passers by? to themselves?

    Even more disturbing is how on earth they can keep the party books up to date if they don’t have a clue how many actual paying members they have. How can they possibly calculate accruals and deferred income accurately?

    And if they cannot establish the actual income they are due, how can they establish how many salaries they can afford to pay and for how long? This begs the question as to what is actually funding the SNP to ensure those salaries can continue to be paid.

    The most important assets in a party are its members and the value of the brand. But it is the members who give value to the brand. So if there is no interest in actually establishing the real number of paying members, the indication is that the party is just a shell surviving only thanks to the perceived value of the brand. Without members, which are the foundation of the brand, this will collapse.

    It is not just the suspicion of the election being rigged, it is a whole other questions that start to jump at you if there is no willingness to release an accurate register of the number of active, paying members.

    I read in twitter that they are now writing to members. What for? Nobody has asked for them to disclose their protected information. The candidates just want the numbers of people who can vote and the number of ballots, digital or paper-based, issued. So what are they asking members?

    I am really curious now as to what that members’ list might be hiding.

  45. Graeme George says:

    Can anybody tell me what would an interdict do to the voting process so far, would it mean a restart (scrap what’s been done and start again) or just a postponement where we carry on from where we left off once the interdict’s been settled ?

  46. Vestas says:

    All the members of the NEC are jointly and severally liable if the SNP commits electoral or fundraising fraud. That’s criminal law, not civil and is punishable by imprisonment.

    That would technically include EVERY member (past and present) of the NEC since the £600k went “astray”.

    The current members are liable for everything which is going on regarding the “leadership” election.

    Were I them I’d be shitting bricks…..

  47. John Docherty says:

    “Responsibility for the leadership election does not sit with any member of staff”. Responsibility for the leadership election can never sit with a third party. MiVoice has been selected to perform a discrete task and are thus a contractor in this context. Responsibility must sit with the SNP, whether that’s a nominated individual in the first instance, the NEC, the Chief Executive or the incumbent leader. The buck has to stop somewhere, but not with the contractor. There is a world of a difference between being responsible for something and performing a task that achieves that something.

  48. desimond says:

    But Naive of Hamewilldaeme asks “Arent the Membership numbers published in the Yearly Accounts?”

    Oh wait…

    Although all parties are required to submit these annual accounts by the Political Parties, Elections and Referendums Act (2000), they are not obliged to include membership data.

    I wonder how the below 2021 figures will tally up lose 1 member is careless…to lose thousands….well…

    Latest data on party membership
    Estimates from political parties’ head offices, press releases and media reports indicate that:

    The SNP has around 104,000 members, as of December 2021 (Electoral Commission data)

  49. Calum says:

    I’m old enough to remember Wings investigative articles into the mysteries of SLab’s membership figures. The SNP really have just morphed into the party they supplanted.

  50. Big Jock says:

    This is truly mental. Why does any organisation need a meeting or to consult with members , about how many members are in the party?

    The only reason I can think of for this latest wheeze. Is to buy more time to try and cook the books and cover the trail.

  51. Gregory Beekman says:

    With a nervous-looking Ash Regan sat behind Nicola Sturgeon at FMQs, I was sure she was going to ask a zinger of a question.

    But, no – she just sat there looking nervous. I wonder what was going through her mind. She looked like someone about to do something big…

  52. Louise Hogg says:

    I only skimmed FMQs. Did the subject SERIOUSLY not come up? Wow.

    Nothing to see here…

  53. Big Matt says:

    The NEC will be shitting bricks and soon seen fleeing like rats from the sinking ship!

  54. Anton Decadent says:

    Re Rogue Trooper, are the three candidates Gunnar, Helm and Bagman?

  55. Den says:

    I bet ballots issued v member numbers is 150% and that’s the problem with not releasing the member numbers, anyone thinking this only happens in banana republics better move over as Scotland now needs a space in the fruit bowl.

  56. Doug says:

    I hope Alba are getting ready to take advantage of the SNP bourach for the benefit of the independence movement as a whole.

  57. Luigi says:

    Surely this is time for Peter Murrell to emerge from the shadows and make a statement? He has been awfy quiet (as always). I think Team Ash (or is it Team Ash and Team Kate?) have played a blinder – by getting support for this from Kate (two thirds of the candidates), team Humza had no choice to join in and now the men in grey kilts may be unable to resist the intense pressure for clarity and transparency.

    Methinks those screaming the loudest about how this is causing public embarrassment to the party may be those with a stake in the game. Just saying. Scream as loud as ye like. Popcorn ready.

  58. Frazerio says:

    Once upon a time there was this guy called Alexander who bossed UK politics. He floated above the stinking pool of self servers or plain incompetents that inhabited our political chambers. He ‘politicked’ far and above any of them.

    The move by Ash Regan yesterday takes me right back to that time. Indeed, it is such a strong political play, showing leadership, innovation and guts that I suspect the auld master has been involved somewhere in the advice stage.

    At a stroke, Regan is LEADING the other ‘leadership contenders’ and letting every fetid component part of the charade that is the SNP from Murrell to Hunter, and the Unionist MSM from Sky to the impartial and balanced BBC who are propping up this racist tory led cabal.
    In one sublime move, Regan has, please excuse my French, put the shitters up the lot of them.

    Put yourself in Glenn Campbells shoes. Yesterday he was lied to by someone he either trusts or is instructed to believe. He reports their bollox. Within a day its exposed as the bollox it is. Its the sorr of stuff Salmond was a master at and its delightful seeing it again. Go on Ash!!!

  59. John says:

    Off the subject but still relevant,”Hi everyone! Just a giving a quick shout out to our friends at @dotscotregistry who have kindly offered to sponsor our domain name. Thank you!” .
    This mastodon site actively ban people linking to WoS and puts them on a share “secretive” blocking list, just shows you how deep the corruption is in our country. Are @dotscotregistry condoning this action.

  60. Luca Brasi says:

    Beauvais @11:20: “Mhairi Hunter just isn’t, as they say, a wartime consigliere.”

    Or a peacetime one. Then again, Mrs. Murell and Mr. Sturgeon are no Michael Corleone.

  61. Luigi says:

    Had Ash been the only candidate demanding voter transparency, she would have been quickly shooed away with a dismissive: “Away and don’t be silly!”. However, with Kate’s support it became irresistible. Humza had no choice but to play along. Genius.

  62. Robert Christie says:

    I joined SNP more than 60 years ago, recruited by the late Willie MacRae. I am absolutely APPALLED by what the Party has become in recent years…..I can just hear Willie’s expletive laden reaction…!

  63. robertkknight says:

    Rev Stu…

    If you get ‘eyes on’ this communication to NEC members, be VERY wary of reproducing such here.

    There may be individual versions with subtle differences in font, grammar, spelling or punctuation which could be tailored for specific recipient(s), and therefore potentially I-D your source.

    I’m sure you’re way ahead on that score, but just sayin’…

  64. Big Jock says:

    The invisible hand of Murrell runs like a cancer through the SNP. He behaves like a Stasi general. The truth is whatever he says is the truth.

    I don’t expect that even when the numbers are released under such duress, that they will reflect the true numbers. The SNP members need to swallow the red pill and step out of the Matrix.

    I swallowed it 3 years ago. I resisted for a long time , and relied on cognitive dissonance. But sometimes the truth is irresistible.

  65. Geoff Anderson says:


    Humza has flipped again. He has attacked his two fellow candidates for suggesting any problem with the election process.

    A liar lies…..simples

  66. laukat says:

    Now would be a good time for the Tories to offer another referendum. Given how much of a mess SNP HQ is in if anyone was held this year they would be on a winner.

    Leaving that aside Kirk Torrance’s questions last night to the SNP were quite pointed and suggested that Regan’s camp may have details of what exactly is going on. What happens at 3pm if she tells the press exactly what sort of shenanigans have been going on? If the contest goes ahead with that sort of allegations against it any winner is knackered from the off. SNP HQ might have to suspend the contest and order an audit rather than any of the candidates.

    That then means the timeline the Murrell’s demanded is thrown away. Will the Murrells now be able to get out of office before the Police close in? If the SNP suspend the contest surely Murrell is toast? Will Nicola stand down and leave Keith Brown as temporary FM? Is that now the only hope of a continuity candidate?

  67. 100%Yes says:

    If anyone on the NEC has read your latest post, they’ll know they’ll have to go and check their email.

  68. Terry says:

    And with the election suspended that means the challenge to the section 35 GRR stuff is in jeopardy – which is a good thing – cos the GRR rubbish is going to have to be scrapped one way or the other

  69. Megs says:

    Well this is exciting, I will need to wait til I finish work though to see if Ash’s ultimatum is fruitful.

  70. Karen says:

    I hope their emails are secure, oh wait …

  71. Big Jock says:

    Laukat- If Ash has let known to the Murrells that she has some incendiary evidence of dodgy balloting. A shot across the bow so to speak. Then the Murrells have nowhere to run.

    Releasing the information will prove the fiddle, withholding it will cause a delay in the election and potentially revealing information about what is going on from the Regan camp.

    Extra large popcorn at the ready!

  72. barelybare says:

    Getting (fake?) numbers is not enough. It needs independent experienced auditing as Forbes has demanded. Lawyers: get your wigs powdered.

  73. craig murray says:

    Robert Knight,

    Stu and I had precisely that conversation a couple of hours ago. Don’t worry it ain’t our first rodeo!

  74. FionaN says:

    without tv, what might be the best way to see Regans speech at 3pm? Does anyone know if it is being live streamed?

  75. Doug says:

    @craig murray 2:06pm

    If you’re in communication with the Rev can you confirm the Rev’s comment on a previous thread that the Stewart McDonald emails are
    not going to be published by yourself because they’re just too boring to be considered worthy of publication?

  76. Big Jock says:

    Murrell is basically asking the voting members to just trust the process. I am not a qualified auditor , but that is wrong on every single level.

    Who are these people, who is Murrell in the pay of?

  77. sadscot says:

    I have to say Michelle Thomson has guts. She is afraid of no one!

  78. Dave Hansell says:

    Hark! Hark!
    The dogs do bark….

    ….the beggar’s are coming to Town

    Some in rags
    and some in tags…..

    ….and some in velvet gown.

    The more things change the more they stay the same.

  79. Wee Chid says:

    Doug says:
    16 March, 2023 at 2:16 pm
    @craig murray 2:06pm

    “If you’re in communication with the Rev can you confirm the Rev’s comment on a previous thread that the Stewart McDonald emails are
    not going to be published by yourself because they’re just too boring to be considered worthy of publication?”

    Ever get the feeling that everyone is just stringing us along – even the ones that are supposed to be onside?

    Doesn’t really matter who wins – we’ll be strung along by whoever it is.

  80. stuart mctavish says:

    Graham George @12:47

    Bad actor or not I’d imagine that, as a minimum, SNP will be required to publish the number of ballots sent out, the number already returned and the current score in terms of first, second and third ranked votes for each candidate.

    Considering all the badgering Boris and successors got about democratic process, it would be bit of a travesty if the party of independence was genuinely blind to the value of such transparency – even without instruction from a court.

  81. robertkknight says:


    Good to know!

  82. Big Jock says:

    Fiona it’s a press conference , so BBC 24 or sky news on the internet I would imagine.

  83. Shug says:

    Big jock
    Yes indeed who is paying and who is pulling the strings

    Do I see a flying iron???

    Once the first offer of protection was made and accepted it was inevitable. The only variable was timing to suit a car crash before a GE

  84. Big Jock says:

    Off topic – But Jim Spence at his best , talking about gender reassignment. lol

  85. FionaN says:

    Thank you, Big Jock!

  86. Debatable Lands says:

    Honestly everyone, this independence thing, are you sure it’s any improvement? As far as I can see the movement has produced a corrupt, authoritarian government owned by hyper-woke groups and run for the financial benefit of a few families, that are killing the economy and can’t run a bath. Not the vision I remember, but what get isn’t always what you wish for.

    Maybe when the party was casting about for comparisons of the sort of countries an independent Scotland would be like, then maybe we were aiming a bit high with the Nordic countries.

  87. Doug says:

    @Debatable Lands 2:51pm

    Honestly. Anything – ANYTHING! – is better than being ruled over by a foreign country. Honestly.

  88. Big Jock says:

    Not sure the press conference is going ahead. I understand the SNP have asked for a meeting??

  89. Peter A Bell says:

    The official result has been leaked!

    Ash Regan Not very many votes at all
    Kate Forbes Quite a lot of votes
    Humza Yousaf Far more votes than anybody else

    Result verified by Rumller & Gerontus LLP

  90. A2 says:

    3.00, any news?

  91. Grouser says:

    When I was membership secretary for the local SNP branch I would have been able to give you an approximate membership total off the top of my head at any time and an exact figure at the click of a couple of buttons. This information should be available in exactly the same way for the total membership. The SNP has sunk beyond redemption on their present showing.
    By the way, I was under the impression that all voting would be electronic via the internet. I now read that paper ballots are being issued. Can anyone confirm this as I have a friend who almost certainly would not vote by computer but would on paper.

  92. Big Jock says:

    Archived membership numbers below. A steady decline, but I suspect rapid after 2021.

    18 September 2014: 25,642
    31 Dec 2014: 93,045
    2015: 115,102
    2016: 118,959
    2017: n/a
    2018: 125,534
    2019: 125,691
    2020: 105,393
    2021: 103,884

  93. Lenny Hartley says:

    If i remember correction from my time in the SNP, SNP HQ levy the Branchers per member for elections expenses and the like, therefore they must have an accurate account of the membership otherwise the branch Secretaries would not be doing their job ensuring they were not levied the wrong amount. Believe this amount goes into a special account in SNP books for use for Elections only.
    So there is no excuse not to have up to date membership figures at HQ.
    Unless of course that money is now woven through the accounts !

  94. gregor says:

    Absurd Smoque (2017): Origins: A Scottish Nightmare (Version 2):

    (…influenced by the best of Electronic music and the myths of ancient cultures… Absurd Smoque transcends all classifications in the music world…):

  95. Lenny hartley says:

    From a yoon journalist twitter
    NEW: The SNP has 72,186 members, the party’s ruling national executive committee has been told

    That’s down from almost 104,000 in 2021, the last year that numbers were previously available for

  96. Big Jock says:

    Doug – I agree. Until we can have our own country, we can never vote the dictators out. So straddled to the Union , we get England’s government foisted upon us. We can never remove them.

    With independence , we can vote the SNP out. It’s just a pity they are supposed to be the vehicle to independence So it’s very difficult to move to independence without them. Certainly in the next 10 years anyway.

    They have really messed everything up for all of us.

  97. Xaracen says:

    SNP membership declared as 72,186 this afternoon.

  98. ben madigan says:

    @ Big Jock who said:

    “Not sure the press conference is going ahead”

    If Ash Regan doesn’t hold her press conference as promised/threatened, the entire SNP will look like fools and the Scots even greater fools for voting for them

  99. Big Jock says:

    We need to know who has voted , who has still to vote and the numbers overall. We need to make sure they match the votes already cast.

  100. One_Scot says:

    Would it help if someone turned the SNP on and off again.

  101. TheSNPLeftMe says:

    Peter Murrell has contacted each candidate to ask what number they would like. Meanwhile the SNP North American Rainbow Branch have offered the Humza campaign team double anything Peter comes up with.

  102. LondonScot says:

    Has Ash made a 3.00 pm statement? What news?

  103. David Hannah says:

    Ash Regan and Forbes should take out the interdict.

    Will be a laugh.

  104. clemfandango says:

    Something familiar,
    Something peculiar,
    Something for everyone:
    A comedy tonight!

    Something appealing,
    Something appalling,
    Something for everyone:
    A comedy tonight!

    Nothing with kings, nothing with crowns;
    Bring on the lovers, liars and clowns!

  105. robertkknight says:

    December, 2019: 125,691

    March, 2023: 72,186

    Loss over last 39 months: 53,505

    Given the shit-show since the Dear Leader quit, the figure is by now probably north of 55k members lost in a little over three years.

    To give that some context, the LibDems have a total UK membership of less than 75k.

  106. Andrew scott says:

    Going to be a bit awkward if humzah has already got 80,000 votes

  107. robertkknight says:

    In summary…

    In three years Sturgeon’s rancid SNP has lost approx. 43% of it’s membership and now has fewer members than the LibDems.

    Some legacy!

  108. Craig says:

    It’s now 50 minutes since the deadline and not a peep.

    Has Ash been told the numbers? Is she going to hold a press conference?

    We need to know

  109. Doug says:

    @Big Jock 3:22pm

    Hello BJ. Aye, the SNP, as it stands, must be bypassed as leaders/coordinators of the independence movement or at least it must be radically changed within itself in order for it to truly help the independence cause. I’m not, however, as pessimistic about the timeline as yourself. Watching a dam burst can seem interminable but once the tipping point is passed the change is rapid.

    People like Ash Regan are showing the way within the SNP. I believe more and more supporters of the SNP are slowly coming to terms with the reality of SNP passivity towards independence and will act accordingly. And we have Alba waiting in the wings [no pun intended] along with other pro independence organizations.

    People’s desire for independence won’t go away just because the SNP are making a mess of things. That desire will naturally find other ways of expression. Country before party.

  110. ROBERT M WALKER says:

    That is approximately a 30% reduction in membership. I’m not a nationalist, but if I were I would be asking why this has happened. It could mean that 30% of the membership has abandoned nationalism, (unlikely) or that some other reason has driven them out. Wonder what that could be?

  111. ROBERT M WALKER says:

    That is approximately a 30% reduction in membership. I’m not a nationalist, but if I were I would be asking why this has happened. It could mean that 30% of the membership has abandoned nationalism, (unlikely), or that some other reason has driven them out. Wonder what that could be?

  112. Wullie B says:

    The question should be….”Why were 78k ballots ordered to be sent out when the party rolls were just a bawhair above 72k members?” stinks worse than ratfisk

  113. TheSNPLeftMe says:

    One_Scot @3:31pm


  114. laukat says:

    This has to be one of the most crass and embarrassing things a politician has done

    Surely that idiot can’t be FM? That’s Boris levels of insensitivity

  115. TheSNPLeftMe says:

    I suspect Sturgeon and Murrel are offering for Humza to withdraw if Ash cancels the press conference. Keep it quiet as Humza hasn’t been told yet.

  116. LondonScot says:

    Well rounded up, 126K in 2019, 72K now. That is a 42% drop in less than 4 years. Given that the party was doing well electorally in this period it does suggest a big disgruntlement factor among party members. People do not resign or lapse their membership when their party is doing well in elections and polls. I should know as a Tory – stayed as a member during the roller coastal years with BJ and LT in charge and we were 20% behind in the polls. I cannot speak nationally, but locally the Conservative membership remained steady.

    I suggest the Salmond business, the missing 600K and the gender nonsense have hacked members off. And still to come the ferries business is getting murkier with possible civil and criminal charges brewing and there is the matter of the Standstone Press grant police complaint. Sturgeon and Murrell are experiencing their Ceausescu moment.

    Off piste – if people want to increase the independence vote it seems stupid to hack off the 25% of the electorate who are Conservative inclined. Back in my university days, most of the SNP activists I cam across were conservative with a big ‘C’or small ‘c’. I wonder how they vote these days when the SNP is left wing progressive party, with some pretty extremist policies driven by their Green allies. Independence won’t happen unless the party (and I mean you Sturgeon and Humza) stopped demonizing Tories. Independence is not about getting rid of the Tories as Humza says. It is about independence. An independent Scotland may chose one day to have a Conservative government. It is the land of Adam Smith etc. Indeed to suggest that Scotland is ‘de facto’ socialist is totalitarian. (“Ein reich, ein volk, ein partie”). A more nuanced approach to Scots across the political divide by the next leader would bring over Tartan Tories if one day a IndyRef2 comes round.

  117. John says:
    Humza Yousaf asked “where are all the men?”

  118. Tenruh says:

    43% lose of members since 2016, not bad for the best FM

  119. orri says:

    A bit of speculation here.

    The graph of membership over time is interesting in that around 2014 there was a massive surge in numbers which would be down to those supporting independence. The climb afterwards may also be due to that but as the student gender politicos took over independence might not be the aim of members joining then.

    So the question is what percentage of the remaining membership are pro-independence and would vote for the best placed candidate to achieve that?

  120. Mia says:

    “SNP membership declared as 72,186 this afternoon”

    Aha! But does that figure include only REAL, ACTIVE members or does it also include ghosts and people whose membership has already lapsed but have not been removed from the database as they should under GDPR?

    Has that figure been properly verified? Has it been verified that there are not, for example, cases of the same individual/entity owning more than one membership?

    I ask because I read in twitter that some ex members had received ballots. And well, because since inviting the GCHQ to “oversee” the process, I must admit I do not trust Murrell or Sturgeon one bit.

  121. Breastplate says:

    Robert M Walker @3:51pm and 3:52pm,
    “..abandoned nationalism”

    Using pejorative language does not diminish the worthy and honourable pursuit of self determination.
    I would imagine that a Nationalist should be aware of the proverb about glass houses and throwing stones, what are you BritNats like, eh.

  122. Anonymoose says:

    I wonder if the ICO has been contacted about the breach of the Data Protection Act 2018 by the SNP HQ by them giving out the private members details to Humza Yousaf and his election team in order for them to lobby individual members.

    That act itself is a breach of the SNP’s own leadership election rules as it constitutes an unlawful use of personal data (covered by the Data Protection Act) which they have on file for each party member – present and past, it is also a misuse of personal data by Humza Yousaf and his team as they should have immediately reported this data breach to the ICO, which they did not, they sought to personally benefit from it in order to boost Humza Yousaf’s election profile.

    The relevant part of the SNP’s rulebook is under the heading “Leadership Election Rules” section 4 to which I quote:

    4 Lobbying local organisations

    4.1 Candidates will be provided with contact details of secretaries of organisations to facilitate hustings events, etc. Candidates must not send material to local organisations over and above what has been distributed by Headquarters.

    4.2 To comply with the relevant Data Protection legislation, candidates will not be provided with direct contact details for individual members. No ordinary members of the Party should be contacted directly by candidates with election materials, or be lobbied by a candidate, or their supporters, unless at SNP events.

    You can clearly see that even within their own constitution & rulebook they recognise the act of handing over membership details to leadership election candidates as a breach of the Data Protection Act 2018 and thus it is unlawful as well as a breach of the SNP’s own constitution & rule book, anyone involved in handing out this personal data of members is liable, as are those who recieved it and failed to report the breach to the ICO, including Humza Yousaf who personally benefitted from it.

    Another interesting part from the SNP’s rulebook is section 6 of the Leadership Election Rules, which I will quote in full below:

    6 SNP headquarters

    6.1 Headquarters staff are employed to ensure that the elections for Leader and Depute Leader are conducted in a fair and democratic fashion, and have a duty to carry out this function impartially.

    6.2 Those standing for Leader or Depute Leader should therefore not ask Headquarters staff at any time to act in any way which would conflict or call into question their impartiality, or which would give rise to such criticisms.

    6.3 The SNP is committed to the objectives of Data Protection legislation.
    All personal information held by Headquarters will be treated in confidence and held and used only in accordance with the terms of the relevant Data Protection legislation and other applicable legislation.

    6.4 The SNP requires all of its employees to comply fully with this policy and the principles of Data Protection legislation. Deliberate breaches of this policy will be considered as misconduct and will render the employee liable to disciplinary action up to and including dismissal. Individuals, as well as the SNP, can be prosecuted for breaches of Data Protection legislation.

    6.5 Aside from support detailed above, no resources, funds or materials shall be made available from Headquarters for any individual candidate.

    Anyone can quite obviously see that the party leadership claiming they dont have responsibility for the vote, or the counting of votes is complete bollocks as it’s written into their constitution and rule book, incidentally a failure to run this leadership election according to their constitution and rule book is also a breach of the SNP’s own rules – I dont recall hearing of SNP members being balloted about a constitution and rule book change to fascilitate this leadership election which is the only way, according to the SNPs own constitution, that the constitution and rule book can be ammended.

    The SNP HQ & CEO have also breached the Data Protection Act by handing over (or being involved with the handing over of) the personal contact details of those party members in the south of Scotland who were individually lobbied on behalf of Humza Yousaf, it’s not the first time they have been involved in items of a criminal nature, ref: the ongoing Police investigation into the missing “ringefenced” £600,000.

    Then there is section 7 of the Leadership Election Rules which deals with parliamentarians and their staff, which also covers the use of parliamentary monies for SNP leadership elections (for the avoidance of doubt that is tax-payers/public money):

    7 Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff

    7.1 Staff employed by SNP parliamentary groups or individual parliamentarians may only participate in the election campaign outwith contracted hours or provided they take unpaid leave (or paid accrued annual leave) to do so. In this instance, the employer must be able to demonstrate that the employee is on leave and they must ensure that parliamentary monies are not used for the purposes of internal political campaigning.

    7.2 Parliamentarians should ensure that they and their own staff do not use parliamentary facilities for campaigning and do not use their positions within the Parliament to attack other candidates or prospective candidates. If acting in support of any candidate, employees should keep in mind their position within the Parliament
    and the perception of that position within the Party.

    7.3 Parliamentarians should ensure that they and their own staff do not transfer data on individual members of the SNP, unless they have permission to do so from the individuals concerned. Adherence to the relevant Data Protection legislation should be observed in regard to any data transfers.

    This section begs the question, who if anyone in SNP HQ is auditing the candidates expenditures? Why would anyone trust them in the slightest on issues of finance and financial auditing & probity after they have already dissappeared £600,000 of public donations into a “ringfenced” independence fighting fund which is still – to the best of my knowledge – under police investigation.

    This section also covers breaches of the Data Protection Act by anyone working for a candidate, thus from top to bottom of any candidate’s leadership campaign the SNP Constitution and Rule Book covers in black and white the legalities of the use of individual members personal data, which by now has been breached several times by SNP HQ, Humza Yousaf and his campaign team members.

    Now, as an ex-SNP member I do not have any skin in this game, but for those SNP members in the south of Scotland or anywhere else who have been lobbied directly by Humza Yousaf or anyone in his campaign team (or even the current party leadership or HQ), if you still care about your own party and whether it upholds the law and its own constitution, then I would be writing a letter/email to the ICO to investigate this massive personal data breach of not only your own data but potentially thousands of other party members’ personal data as well.

  123. President Xiden says:

    So, who is telling the truth, Mhari Hunter or He/Him?

  124. President Xiden says:


    Gonna play the Devil’s Advocate here. What’s the big deal about knowing true SNP membership numbers? Sure, there’s been rumours & titbit gossip about membership numbers being massaged but I’ve yet to see hard proof of anything dodgy.

    what’s the point? ……..errrr so we can see if there is anything dodgy.

  125. Indy now says:

    Lorna Finn works as Ivan McKee’s office manager. It’s quite rare to see the office open. Finn is part of SNP Provan. We know North Lanarkshire SNP had serious branch problems but SNP Provan was every bit as bad with in fighting. MP Anne McLaughlin remained convenor of the branch whilst being an MP. Lorna Finn joined the branch and was friends with McLaughlin and almost instantly was voted in as branch treasurer. She was not around during the referendum or Anne McLaughlins 2015 Westminster campaign! At a branch meeting I recall Ivan McKee telling folk in the branch to STFU in a very angry loud voice. Another incident saw SNP councillor Allan Casey (also works in Ivan McKee office) warned by the chair for being aggressive in his tone. I personally think the chair should have thrown him out! In my view Finn, McLaughlin and Casey all had a huge sense of entitlement. SNP Provan unfortunately also had to accept SNP councillor and McLaughlin boyfriend Graham Campbell. Hope that helps you.

  126. Tommy says:

    I hate the SNP and the independence movement. Independence would be the most damaging thing to Scotland and Britain, and is monumentally stupid. However, WINGS is the only reliable source of information on the SNP contest and the only one that seems to hold these muppets to account!

  127. Peter WIlson says:

    When the party membership rose from 20k+ to 125k+ it was abundantly clear that a different kind of organisational and governmental structure was required to manage this huge increase in numbers and to draw out the wealth of talent the party now had at its disposal. We waited and waited for these things to happen – instead, the SNP leadership drew into itself, cancelled party decision-making conferences, rigged candidate selection processes and obscured its finances from scrutiny. Mandates for referenda came and went and use of the word ‘independence’ was outlawed for use by its elected politicians, other than expression of the need for it in platitudious final comments to anodyne articles by them in the National.
    It’s tragic that it’s come to this, but it was inevitable that it would do so: it’s difficult to think that any public company would be allowed to have both its chairman and chief executive aligned through marriage rather than ability (does PM have any skill, other than duplicity?), yet the membership has been prevented from questioning the centralised carpetbagging of seats for the chosen few and the gerrymandering of local party votes for list candidates. Perhaps if a membership criterion had been ‘are you now or have ever been a member of the Labour Party in Scotland?’ all of the current pain might have been avoided.

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