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Tories call for end to silence

Tories urge SNP’s ‘silent Brexiteers’ to come clean

Alex Neil

Alex Neil: voted to leave

The SNP’s “silent Brexiteers” have been urged to identify themselves after former Health Secretary Alex Neil admitted he voted for Britain to leave the EU.

Mr Neil added that he was joined by several other SNP MSPs and the Scottish Conservatives today said they should come clean.

Mr Neil told the Daily Telegraph: “There’s a number of my colleagues who have spoken to me privately who did the same. They don’t want to broadcast it. They were betwixt and between and they voted Leave.”

He then added in an interview this morning: “There are 63 members of the parliamentary group, I’ve only talked to one or two people who have told me that. They’d approached me.

“I’m not in the game of having numbers or names or anything like that. If anyone else wants to say publicly that they voted leave, that was a matter for them.”

Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman Adam Tomkins said “Alex Neil’s comments blow a hole in the SNP’s attempt to use Brexit to manufacture support for independence.

“As he says, he was among 400,000 of Nicola Sturgeon’s supporters who backed Leave on June 23.

“Britain’s decision to leave the European Union was made as much by her own supporters as it was by anyone else.

“And it now turns out that he was one of several other unknown SNP MSPs who voted for Brexit.

“How can Nicola Sturgeon use this vote to whip up grievance and claim independence must now be ‘on the table’ when several of her own MSPs backed it?

“In the Scottish Conservatives, we had Leavers and Remainers and MSPs were allowed to campaign on both sides.

“The SNP’s ‘silent Brexiteers’ now need to come forward openly and let their constituents know how they voted.

“We know that voting Leave is still considered a thought crime by the SNP leadership.

“Alex Neil has now finally broken his own four-month silence – those SNP MSPs who backed Leave now need to show some gumption and explain their actions.”

Mr Neil’s comments follow SNP sympathiser Sir Brian Souter’s claim that Brexit “is not such a big deal.”

Daily Business revealed the transport tycoon’s views earlier this week when he told a start-up meeting that potential damage to the economy was being over-estimated.

The SNP claims thousands of jobs will be lost as a result of Britain losing access to the single market.

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