Plea to voters

SNP’s Sheppard says indy dream over if election lost

Tommy Sheppard: election critical (pic: Terry Murden)

The dream of independence will stop if the SNP loses to Labour in the General Election, one of the party’s MPs has said.

While the SNP leadership will this week put independence at the heart of its manifesto, Tommy Sheppard has said that unless those behind the dream are united then the debate will be over.

His comments are seen as a realisation of Labour’s resurgence north of the border and of the growing threat from Alex Salmond’s Alba party which could split the nationalist vote.

The SNP’s official position is that winning a majority of MPs north of the border after the next vote will be a mandate to give “democratic effect” to Scottish independence. However, opinion polls are pointing to that being an unlikely outcome.

Writing in a nationalist-supporting Sunday paper, Mr Sheppard urged Scots not to abandon the party in favour of Labour.

“We need to be very clear with the electorate, this year’s vote is about whether the journey continues, whether we can create circumstances to move towards our independence,” he wrote.

“And with a corrupt first-past-the-post system, the only way to do that is to vote SNP.”

He added: “If the SNP lose the election in Scotland, the debate on independence stops. That is why we must put aside our differences and unite.”

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “Tommy Sheppard is right, the SNP should listen when it is rejected at the ballot box, but we all know that the SNP will never end its divisive and negative attempts to separate us. 

“Trying to make the forthcoming election campaign all about the constitution shows that the SNP has nothing else to offer the people of Scotland.

“This election should be about the issues that really matter to voters such as the cost-of-living crisis, jobs, and the climate emergency.”

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