Shetland’s regional list MSP Jean Urquhart has resigned from the SNP over the party’s decision to abolish its opposition to Nato membership at its weekend conference.
Mrs Urquhart will continue to sit as an independent MSP, but will have no official party affiliation. She been a supporter of independence for 25 years and a CND member for 35 years.
She came to prominence in the isles after standing as an SNP candidate in the 2011 election to the Scottish Parliament. She lost to sitting Liberal Democrat candidate Tavish Scott, but gained enough support to be elected to the Highlands and Islands list.
Fellow regional MSP John Finnie has also resigned from the party. Their decision to stand down was made at Eden Court in Inverness today.
In a statement Mrs Urquhart explained she could not belong to a party which supported Nato’s nuclear stance.
She said: “The issue of nuclear disarmament and removing Trident from Scotland’s waters is a red line issue for me, and I could not remain committed to a party that has committed itself to retaining membership of NATO.
“We are both steadfast in our belief that Scotland should be an independent country, and will actively and positively campaign for a Yes vote in 2014. We believe in an independent Scotland, not a Nato-dependent Scotland.
“John and I will continue to work with MSPs across the chamber for a fairer and more peaceful Scotland. Importantly, we look forward to continuing to represent the residents of the Highlands and Islands as we have done since May 2011.
“I’m delighted to have been part of the party for such a long time. We couldn’t have done it without Alex [Salmond] and Nicola [Sturgeon].
“We are full on for the yes campaign and full on for independence. I haven’t changed my mind on any of those thing, but I have campaigned for the last 30 years against Nato and against nuclear weapons.”