SNP civil war erupts after election as one person splits party in two | Politics | News

The SNP faces a civil war after the party’s General Election drubbing as claims arise that Scots Nats HQ didn’t do much to help candidates. John Swinney’s party suffered its worst election result in 14 years on Thursday (July 4), losing half a million votes and 39 seats since 2019’s poll.

The SNP now has just nine MPs and shattered dreams of breaking up the United Kingdom after the humiliating defeat at the hands of voters in Scotland.

Insiders have claimed there is mounting anger inside the party at how its campaign was managed, with talk of a split between supporters of former leader, Nicola Sturgeon, and those who want to forge a new path.

A source told The Sunday Times the SNP missed the organisation skills of the SNP‘s former Chief Executive Peter Murrell, who stepped down in 2023 and has been charged with embezzlement as part of Operation Branchform, Police Scotland’s investigation into possible SNP fundraising fraud.

One candidate, quoted by the Scottish Daily Express, said: “There is going to be a massive revolt against HQ because there has been no support. They haven’t done anything. Throughout all of this, we haven’t been told what the message is. We haven’t been told what to say on the doors.”

A vicious blame game has reportedly erupted behind the scenes, according to other sources, as former MPs eye up seats at Holyrood in 2026, sparking outrage among backbench MSPs in fear of getting ousted.

One MSP told the Sunday Mail: “It is a very unhappy ship at the moment and things are going to get much worse. You have 38 (sic) MPs who have lost their jobs and many will be desperate to get into Holyrood as MSPs at the next election where the leadership has significant control over the placement of names on regional lists.

“You can just imagine the bloodbath when these decisions come into play. Many people who have until now been loyal to Sturgeon and her camp, now led by (John) Swinney, are waking up to the unmitigated disaster she has left in her wake.”

Another SNP MSP said they didn’t think anyone still believed Ms Sturgeon didn’t have to take a big portion of the blame, adding: “Things are bad and it is difficult to see a silver lining.”

Veteran SNP politician Joanna Cherry said Ms Sturgeon owes those who lost their seat an apology after voters became “disillusioned” by the party’s independence strategy.

The veteran politician was one of 39 former SNP MPs to lose her seat in Thursday’s General Election, after her Edinburgh South West seat was won by Labour.

Ms Cherry, who has been among the loudest internal critics of her party’s former leadership, told Sky News that it had become “difficult to persuade” people to vote for the SNP.

She said the party had failed to convince its core independence support of the way forward in the cause, while accusing the SNP-run Scottish Government of losing its “competence and integrity”.

Ms Cherry, who has repeatedly said she felt “excluded” from the party after she spoke out against its stance on gender reforms and the approach to independence, did back Mr Swinney.

She said Mr Swinney had “widespread support” within the party, but added: “If he is to maintain that support, he is going to have to acknowledge the enormity of the setback and address the reasons why it happened.”

Ms Sturgeon has previously said it would be the “easy solution” for people to “take refuge” in somehow saying it was all her fault.

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