Andrew Walker, Secretary of the Uist and Barra Branch of the Scottish National Party, has resigned and cancelled his membership of the SNP.
Mr Walker, who ran for the last year’s Local Council elections, handed in his resignation today, stressing that he gave the decision a great deal of thought and consideration.
In his letter of resignation he wrote: “I can no longer identify with SNP policies at both national and local level.”
He listed the SNP Government at Holyrood proceeding to legislate on Same Sex Marriage, and the decision taken at last year’s SNP conference to recommend an Independent Scotland will become a member state of NATO, as reasons why he has decided to leave the party.
On a local level Mr Walker said he felt “distinctly undermined” when standing as a candidate during the local elections due to SNP policy on Road Equivalent Tariff for Commercial Vehicles.
He also said the Comhairle should have received more protection from Holyrood when it came to budget cut-backs in services which “has come about as a direct result of Central Government cut backs at Westminster and Holyrood”.
He wrote: “The Western Isles’ Constituency is one of the most fragile in Scotland, and local government services here depend more on Central Government funding than anywhere else in Scotland. In short, CnES is a ‘special case’ and should have received more protection from Holyrood, with our MP and MSP beating this drum to better effect.
“Social care services to our most vulnerable citizens are being pruned back beyond acceptable levels, and we have the highest proportion of citizens in Scotland living in the ghastly category of ‘fuel poverty’.
“CnES staff working in the front-line are facing unprecedented pressures at a time of increasing demands on services. Why should we be surprised that sickness absences are increasing? We should be showing more concern for their physical and mental well-being. Furthermore, the Voluntary/Independent sector, providers too of essential services, are being marginalised and facing the brunt of cut-backs to funding.”
He ended: “Let me reiterate that I have given this decision to tender my resignation from the SNP very careful thought: working from within to change so many opposing views to basic policy of the party, is not now an option. It is so overwhelming... The post as Secretary to the Branch, which I currently hold, will also now become vacant, and a new appointment can be made at your AGM.”