The news that former East Lothian SNP MP George Kerevan has joined Kenny MacAskill in jumping ship to the Alba party raises more questions for SNP here.
Mr Kerevan announced his decision to join Alba just days after Mr MacAskill and appears to have been joined by at least one of his former staff members, who was also the SNP candidate at the 2019 Haddington by-election. The latest defections come amid widespread reports of bitter division within the local SNP membership.
Commenting on what this means for voters, Colin Yorkston, Chair of East Lothian Labour Party, said:
“This ongoing SNP psychodrama has wider implications for every voter in East Lothian. When people make their choice at election time, it is largely because of the party the candidate represents rather than the individual. If voters cannot rely on the individual to be true to what they stood for then it undermines people’s faith in the process.
“Two candidates selected by local SNP members and then elected to represent East Lothian have now chosen to abandon their party and go their own way. What is to say that this will not happen a third time with their current candidate?
“As it descends into bitter division and recrimination, it’s increasingly clear that the SNP cannot be trusted with a vote here. East Lothian deserves better.”