Highlands and Islands MSP joins Greens

Highlands and Islands MSP John Finnie has joined the Scottish Green Party.

Mr Finnie was welcomed with a standing ovation in Edinburgh yesterday – at what the party expected to be its largest ever conference.

Mr Finnie left the SNP in October 2012 over the matter of NATO membership. He has represented the region as an independent MSP since then and will continue to sit as an independent MSP for the rest of this session of the Scottish Parliament.

“I’ve been a Green all my life; I just didn’t know it,” said Mr Finnie.

“Working and campaigning alongside Greens, I’ve seen that my values are Green values: social and environmental justice, democracy and integrity, internationalism and peace.”

He thanked the Scottish Greens for his welcome, which he said was “warm, generous, and enthusiastic”.

“Receiving my membership card today feels like a homecoming,” he said.

“I have no ill will towards the SNP, a substantial minority of whom voted with me to oppose NATO membership.

“But the project of building a fairer and more sustainable Scotland isn’t the exclusive property of one party, or even any group of parties, and I would urge others who share my views to take the next step and join the Greens as I have done.

“I’ll continue to sit as an independent MSP for the rest of this parliament, voting for the manifesto commitments I stood on, and voting with my conscience and judgement in all other votes, as I have done since becoming an independent.

“I’ll be putting my name forward to be selected as a Green candidate for the Highlands and Islands for 2016, a decision which will be for the local branch to make.”

Patrick Harvie MSP and co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party, said: “The Green MSPs have found much to work on with John Finnie since 2012, when he left the SNP and joined the group of Greens and independent MSPs at Holyrood, and it gives me great pleasure to know he’ll be working with us from now on as a member of the Scottish Greens.

“Even before the SNP’s decision to support membership of a nuclear alliance it was clear that he shares a commitment to Green values, and I know he will be a credit to the Scottish Green Party at Holyrood.”

Mr Finnie was elected in 2011 as an SNP list MSP for the Highlands and Islands region.


Add Your Comment
  • Robin Barclay

    • October 13th, 2014 12:49

    “Mr Finnie was elected in 2011 as an SNP list MSP”. What is the position for list MSPs on such defections? Not that I have anything particular against the Greens (I’m not party political), but if someone is appointed from a list under a party’s entitlement under proportional representation (in this case the SNP) then if that person leaves that party to become a member of a different party (in this case the Greens) they should not be entitled to continue as a list MSP since they no longer represent the party that had the list entitlement. Instead someone else from the list should be appointed as the MSP to fulfill the original party’s list entitlement. Can anyone clarify this?

    • Emma Georgeson

      • October 23rd, 2014 10:30

      Dear Robin, the following link will answer your question

      Mr Finnie remains an independent MSP, even though he is a member of the Scottish Green Party.

      • Ali Inkster

        • October 23rd, 2014 12:00

        But he was selected as part of the SNP list and upon leaving the SNP his and the urquart wifes right to collect a wage paid from the public purse ceased. What also ceased at that point was their right to comment as a member of parliament. Now we can’t expect hollyrood to be there for the benefit of the people like westminster they are there for the benefit of the politicians. And like the parasites living of the work of others they are not willing to do the honourable thing and resign their position in parliament.

  • Ali Inkster

    • October 13th, 2014 23:00

    A lack of integrity shared by that other one Jean Urquhart, unlike the former tory now UKIP MP Douglas Carswell who resigned his seat when he resigned from his party. He had the integrity to put his decision to the electorate and they rewarded him for it.

    • Brian Smith

      • October 23rd, 2014 11:49

      Are you a UKIP supporter, Ali?

      • laurence paton

        • October 23rd, 2014 19:27

        There is no doubt that Douglas Carswell went about his transfer to UKIP in a way that respected the democratic will of his constituents. His integrity and belief in real democracy is clear to see, any one who thinks other wise should take time to read his book ” The End of Politics and the Birth of iDemocracy” .

        This is the forewords ” The west is in crisis. Governments have grown too big, living beyond their means – and ours. The true costs of extra officialdom have been concealed. Parasitical politicians have been hopeless at holding to account the elites who now preside over us. As a result, Western nations are mired in debt and chronically misgoverned. Should we despair? Actually, no. Precisely because the West s Big Government model is bust, things are going to have to change. The West is on the cusp of dramatic changes driven by the failure of her elites, technology and maths. At the precise moment Big Government becomes unaffordable, the internet revolution makes it possible to do without it. Be optimistic. We are going to be able to manage without government – and thrive. The old political and economic order is about to give way to something vastly better.”
        It is also a fact that the establishment media is responsible for steering any UKIP debate to immigration so as to continue labelling them as racist. or extreme.
        That is not the case , at the heart of UKIP’s very existence is the state of democracy in this country, or should that be the lack of it.
        In any case the prize for the biggest loonies and fruitcakes in the present political arena must go to the Labour party, Milliband, Balls, Alexander and Harman etc. They would be better suited to filming a modern version of ” One flew over the cukoo’s nest” rather than rubber stamping the orders from Brussels.

      • Ali Inkster

        • October 24th, 2014 14:18

        Who I vote for is between me and the ballot box Brian. I most definitely don’t support the entrenched political parties and the outright corruption that is endemic within them. whether it s so called socialists or tories when they get into office they are content to look after themselves and to hell with the folks that vote. So when I see a politician or party that shows respect for the electorate like Douglas Carswell did then I will applaud that action. likewise when I see a politician or a party that shows utter contempt for the electorate I will condemn them. INTEGRITY is the first thing I look for when making my decision, what floats your boat Brian?

  • ian_tinkler

    • October 23rd, 2014 11:56

    Something springs to mind about leaving a sinking ship!!


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