SNP suspends MSP as he launches blistering attack on party's failure to 'put Scotland first'

Fergus Ewing

Fergus Ewing has been suspended by the SNP

Dan Falvey

By Dan Falvey

Published: 27/09/2023

- 20:58

Updated: 27/09/2023

- 21:56

Fergus Ewing had been outspoken on a number of policy issues

The SNP has suspended an ex-Scottish government minister after he repeatedly criticised his party.

Fergus Ewing, who just this week was awarded MSP of the Year, had the whip removed after a disciplinary hearing with party bosses.

The move came after he repeatedly voted against the Scottish government and openly criticised policies such as the party's controversial gender reforms.

He had also objected to plans for highly protected marine areas (HPMAs), the deposit return scheme and the Scottish Government’s deal with the Scottish Greens.

\u200bFergus Ewing

Fergus Ewing said the SNP had let down Scotland


Before the summer recess, Ewing voted with the opposition in favour of a motion of no confidence in Green co-leader and Government minister Lorna Slater.

Speaking after tonight's suspension, the politician accused the SNP of no longer "putting Scotland first"."I bit my tongue when I didn’t agree with certain policies the party was was promoting," he said.

“I did so because I thought fundamentally that the party that has been such a big party of my life was fundamentally proceeding in the right way for Scotland – standing up for Scotland.

“The SNP is not an ordinary party – we are a party that has always put Scotland first, and that means to me, putting the interests of the people of Scotland first.


“But in good conscious, and it grieves me to say this, I don’t believe that is any longer the case.”

He added: “I choose to defend my constituents interests and let the cards fall where they may.”

Ewing was suspended for one week from the SNP.

It is unclear following his statement whether he intends to return to the party once he has served the punishment.

\u200bHumza Yousaf

Humza Yousaf missed the vote on Ewing's future


Nine of his colleagues voted against the sanction and four abstained.

First Minister Humza Yousaf missed the vote after returning home due to illness.

A spokesperson for the SNP said: “At a meeting this evening, a proposal was carried to suspend Fergus Ewing from the SNP Holyrood Group for a period of one week.”

Ewing has been given 14 days to appeal the decision.

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