Yousaf: Expelling Angus MacNeil from SNP ‘absolutely the right thing to do’

Yousaf: Expelling Angus Macneil From Snp ‘Absolutely The Right Thing To Do’
Mr MacNeil was suspended from the party’s Westminster group last month after reportedly clashing with chief whip Brendan O’Hara. Photo: PA.
Share this article

By Katrine Bussey, PA Scotland Political Editor

Humza Yousaf has insisted expelling veteran MP Angus MacNeil from the SNP was “absolutely the right thing to do”.

He spoke out after Mr MacNeil, who has been an SNP MP since 2005, announced he had been removed from the party.


The Na h-Eileanan an Iar (Western Isles) MP tweeted late on the Thursday that the “summer of member expulsion, has indeed come to pass”.

Mr MacNeil stated he had been “expelled as a rank and file SNP member by a ‘member conduct committee'”.

Humza Yousaf said he stood by the decision to expel Angus MacNeil from the party. Photo: Lesley Martin/PA.


He added: “I didn’t leave the SNP – the SNP have left me. I wish they were as bothered about independence as they are about me.”

Mr MacNeil was suspended from the party’s Westminster group last month after reportedly clashing with chief whip Brendan O’Hara.

But he refused to immediately rejoin the SNP group at Westminster after his suspension ended.

He also released a statement attacking the SNP leadership’s approach to independence, accusing it of a lack of urgency.


“I will only seek the SNP whip again if it is clear that the SNP are pursuing independence,” he wrote.

SNP leader and Scottish First Minister Humza Yousaf hit out: “I don’t understand this point about ‘the SNP left me’. He literally left the SNP.

“He literally wrote a public statement that said, ‘I’m not going to take the whip, I am not going to rejoin the SNP group’.”


Mr Yousaf, speaking as he appeared at Iain Dale’s All Talk show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe on Friday, recalled how he had previously worked as an intern at Westminster and had known Mr MacNeil for “many years”, saying he had “got along” with him “very well on a personal level”.

But Mr Yousaf said: “>Regardless of your longevity as an MP or your service in the SNP, if you are elected as an SNP MP it is not for you to decide that you stop becoming an SNP MP.

“Your constituents elected you on a party ticket, that is why you got voted in.

“And for you to simply say, ‘I’ll just make a decision when I take the whip, when I’m part of the group, when I’m not part of the group’ well that has consequences.

“And ultimately that decision was taken by our member conduct committee.”

Mr Yousaf said he had been informed of the decision of the member conduct committee, adding: “I absolutely stand by that decision.”

The SNP leader insisted: “It is absolutely the right thing to do, because Angus Brendan MacNeil should be held to the same standard I would be held to as an elected politician, any elected politician in the SNP – and that is not that we can pick and choose when we decide to be SNP MPs or MSPs, especially if the electorate voted for us on the party ticket.”

Read More

Message submitting... Thank you for waiting.

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© 2023, developed by Square1 and powered by