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Last Updated: Saturday, 10 July, 2004, 12:14 GMT 13:14 UK
Nationalists throw out rebel MSP
Campbell Martin has been expelled by the SNP's executive committee
Campbell Martin has been expelled by the SNP's executive committee
Scottish National Party bosses have expelled rebel MSP Campbell Martin.

The SNP ruled at a disciplinary hearing in Edinburgh that Mr Martin had damaged party interests in the run-up to its poor European election showing in June

National secretary Alasdair Allan confirmed the national executive committee's (NEC) decision on Saturday.

The West of Scotland MSP had claimed in the press that there was a case for Nationalists not voting SNP. He said he was "disappointed" by the decision.

Expulsion expected

However, Mr Martin said he was not entirely surprised by the outcome of the hearing.

He pledged to give "serious thought" about whether to appeal against the decision, which he claims is in breach of the SNP constitution.

He said his initial suspension meant he was not currently a member of the party and so further disciplinary action could not be taken against him.

I don't think that is good for democracy or for the SNP
Campbell Martin
Expelled MSP

He said: "My initial thoughts are that I'm very disappointed to have been expelled from the party I first joined in 1977.

"Although it wasn't totally unexpected."

He claimed outgoing party leader John Swinney's "last wish" was to remove him from the SNP and said the expulsion reflected "very poorly" on Mr Swinney and the "clique" surrounding him.

Twenty-three of the NEC's 32 members were present to vote at SNP party headquarters in the capital.

Mr Martin said: "There has been a difference of opinion in the SNP about its direction and policy and what this has resulted in is the expulsion of an MSP.

"I don't think that is good for democracy or for the SNP."

Crossed boundaries

Mr Allan, who made the original complaint against Mr Martin, said: "The NEC was quite clear Mr Martin had stepped outside the boundaries of what is expected of anyone who wishes to be a member of the SNP.

"They decided his call for SNP members to vote against the party was an affront to all hard-working and committed party members.

"Mr Martin is herewith expelled from membership of the SNP. He has the right to appeal this decision.

"Otherwise, Mr Martin will not be able to reapply for membership of the SNP for a period of two years effective from today."

Public criticism

The basis of the complaint against Mr Martin arose as a result a magazine article in which he claimed the cause of independence would have been well served if voters either abstained or backed another party in order to remove Mr Swinney as SNP leader.

The party upheld two charges of conduct inimical to the interests of the party against Mr Martin over his comments.

He was also found to have distributed paperwork purporting to be internal party documents.

Mr Martin will be expelled from the SNP group in the Scottish Parliament and his membership of the party will be revoked with immediate effect.

Mr Martin, 44, was suspended from the party on 25 April after the public criticism of John Swinney's leadership.


SEE ALSO:
Party suspends MSP for six months
08 May 04  |  Scotland
MSP shock over radio suspension
25 Apr 04  |  Scotland


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