REMOVAL of RET for commerical vehicles has lost the SNP one of their best known candidates in the forthcoming council elections.
Iain Don Maciver, Stornoway Port Manager for Calmac said his ‘conscience simply would not allow it’.
Mr Maciver was due to stand in Sgire an Rubha ward as part of a group of 16 SNP candidates contesting all wards in the Western Isles
As a long standing member of the party, he said he had not taken this decision lightly but that he could not support a move which would devastate the local economy.
“I couldn’t ask people to vote for me when I was seen to be supportive of something that is going to financially affect everyone’s pockets, I just couldn’t do it,” he said.
“It is not a decision I came to lightly, I have labouring over it over the last few weeks but when I heard the outcome of Tuesday’s meeting with the Minister, I had to do it.”
He said he was still undecided on whether he would stand as an independent candidate or whether he would pull out altogether.
If he stands as an independent, he says he will have to resign from the SNP as another SNP candidate is standing in this ward and his standing independently would be a conflict.
As a long standing member, this is obviously a difficult decision.
He said: “People have been very supportive and have encouraged me to stand as an independent. I still have allegiance to the SNP, I am still a member of the party. This doesn’t change my view, I still believe passionately in Scottish Independence, I think for the most part the SNP Government are doing, in very difficult circumstances, a good job but this is a step I can’t take.
“It is an issue of conscience and it is asking me to be dishonest in a way and dishonesty is something I don’t do.”
He said he was hoping ‘good sense’ would prevail after Tuesday’s meeting and that RET would be retained but that the outcome left him with no choice.