SNP moves swiftly to protect candidate selection process

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The SNP have acted swiftly in order to protect the integrity of the party’s candidate selection process after a sudden flurry of new members caused alarm bells to ring.


The SNP have acted swiftly in order to protect the integrity of the party’s candidate selection process after a sudden flurry of new members caused alarm bells to ring.

The alarm was raised by the party’s East Dumbartonshire group after many new West of Scotland members were identified as having been Conservative voters and their membership fees of £12 each were paid for by the same individuals.

The SNP executive had now moved to prevent anyone from voting in selection contests who had not been a member before 6 June this year.

The party has been attacked by opponents with Labour’s David Whitton claiming that an SNP candidate was behind the stunt and that whoever it was should be prevented from standing in the Holyrood election.

The Labour Strathkelvin and Bearsden MSP said: “The SNP need to get their house in order and ensure that they find which candidate was behind this attempt to rig the vote and then stop them from standing for parliament.

“This type of behaviour is deeply undemocratic and needs to be weeded out.

“If the SNP do not take action then the whole process is tainted and voters will be asked to potentially support a candidate that had tried to rig a ballot.”

Some media commentators have also been critical with The Scotsman’s David Maddox claiming the party had been “stung” by what he termed “ballot rigging claims”.  Mr Maddox also went on the criticise the SNP’s recent election campaign, labelling it “disastrous” and suggested that the party were now trailing Labour as they head towards the 2011 Holyrood elections.

Mr Maddox was recently the subject of a letter of complaint to The Scotsman by the First Minister Alex Salmond who detailed what he claimed were factual inaccuracies contained in a recent article penned by the journalist.

The SNP have dismissed the attacks and insisted that their selection process is robust and that the prompt action of the Executive is proof of this.

An SNP spokesperson said: “This demonstrates that the SNP’s procedures are totally robust. Our priority is electing all our candidates over the summer and getting out there to win next year’s election for Scotland.”

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