ANDREW WHITAKER | The Scotsman
ANOTHER high-profile supporter of Scottish independence has expressed fears that the SNP has seized full control of the “Yes Scotland” campaign, as major splits began to emerge in the movement.
Prominent nationalist Margo MacDonald said the campaign launched just over a fortnight ago was too heavily “aligned to a political party” – the SNP.
Her intervention came after the co-leader of the pro-independence Scottish Greens, Patrick Harvie, said his party was boycotting the Yes campaign, claiming that the SNP had taken control of “every key decision”.
Mr Harvie, who appeared alongside Mr Salmond at the campaign launch, said the “problem with Yes Scotland is that it is only them” [the SNP], as he said that party bosses had decided the timing of the launch and the appointment of staff, including that of Nationalist MP Angus Robertson as campaign director.
Ms MacDonald, who gave a recorded message of support via a video link at the campaign launch, revealed that she would not be joining “Yes Scotland”.
She added Mr Harvie had said what “a lot of people have been thinking and what I feared”.
Organisers of “Yes Scotland” insist the campaign is independent of the SNP, despite key figures working for the organisation who have been seconded from the party, such as Stephen Noon and Jennifer Dempsie.
Former Nationalist MSP Shirley-Anne Somerville has also been heavily involved in the early stages of the campaign, which has received nearly £1 million from SNP-supporting National Lottery winners Colin and Chris Weir, from Ayrshire, and a similar amount in a bequest to the party from the late Makar, Edwin Morgan.
Ms MacDonald said a “lack of planning” by the SNP had meant it had put its own supporters into crucial campaign roles, as she backed Mr Harvie’s concerns in what is now threatening to become a bitter row within the pro-independence lobby more than two years before the referendum in autumn 2014.
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