Calls to postpone SNP conference on independence after Sturgeon quits

The calls were made by the party's Westminster leader and president following Sturgeon's shock announcement on Wednesday.

Calls for SNP special conference on independence to be postponed after Nicola Sturgeon resigns as First Minister STV News

Calls for the SNP’s special conference to be postponed have been made by senior members of the party, following Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation.

The party are currently due to meet on March 19 to discuss the next steps for the independence movement.

Sturgeon announced the conference following the decision of the UK Supreme Court that Holyrood could not legislate for another referendum.

She has previously said she would back using the next general election as a de facto referendum, however some in her party disagree.

The conference has now been cast into doubt following her shock resignation on Wednesday, with the party’s Westminster leader Stephen Flynn among the high profile names calling for it to be postponed.

He argued the party’s next leader should have the opportunity to set out their own position on the next steps forward.

He told Sky News: “The de facto referendum was obviously put forward by the First Minister and we were going to be discussing and debating the merits of that at that party conference.

“I personally think that party conference should be paused, for obvious reasons.

“I think the new leader should have the opportunity and indeed the space to set out their position, their values and their intentions going forward.

“So that would be my take in relation to that. I think it’s sensible that we do hit the pause button on that conference and allow the new leader the opportunity to set out their vision.”

Speaking to STV News following Sturgeon’s resignation, Flynn said: “Politics can be a pretty punishing business she’s been at the top of the political tree for a long time now and that comes with consequences both for individuals and their families.

“Nicola thinks it’s the right time to go, I wish she didn’t think it was the right time to go, but she’s made her decision and I respect that.”

The calls were echoed by SNP president Mike Russell who told the BBC on Thursday morning it was “unlikely” a leadership race would have concluded by the time of the conference.

He said: “Therefore there is a question to be asked about whether that should be postponed while a leader comes into place.”

He added: “I think that’s a matter that needs to be discussed.”

Meanwhile, rebel SNP MSP Ash Regan backed the idea of moving the conference, as well as calling for all members who left the party in the last year to be allowed to re-join and vote in the leadership contest.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code