Stephen Flynn takes over as SNP Westminster Group leader and all of sudden it’s been a little bit of hype for some under-hyped and overly cosy now backbenchers.
It will be of no surprise to ViveEcosse readers who the latest resignations from the SNP front bench are, as they’ve featured in our coverage last week.
First up is Pete Wishart, who holds the title of longest SNP MP at Westminster, something that he seems remarkably proud of while arguing there was no need for a leadership change.
We understand that the change was demanded by SNP MPs who felt the leadership of Angus Robertson, and then through Ian Blackford, seemed to be less about settling up, and rather more about how to settle down.
The comfort and lofty titles of Westminster had an appeal to many MPs and they felt that they could be ‘Stronger for Scotland’ while in effect having no real output. Sure the UK Government has never been called out in so many words, or in so many vivid depictions of evil, however, the only time they were beaten – was when Joanna Cherry decided to go off-piste and take them to court.
Pete Wishart has served SNP well and is a loyal supporter of whatever the party decides each week, however, he is not, someone who will rock the boat. I can understand why he felt the change was not required in the world in which he inhabits – it seems all that can be done is being done.
The backbenchers however mostly disagreed. The Tuesday club decided the time had come. Amusingly choosing the Westminster leader is a very quick affair, the old kicked out, and the new one installed without bothering to ask anyone outside the group. Perhaps expediency is better – i.e Liz Truss, given the mess we see when the whole party gets a say.
Secondly, not to be outdone, certain to be ousted ‘Defence Chief Spokesperson’ Stewart McDonald chucked out his resignation before Flynn even had to ask. Stewart’s largest contribution was a sort of whinge letter to NATO, who had no idea he was, and those who do know who he is – largely thought it nonsense.
Joanna Cherry who would have actually been an asset to the front bench has decided to remain focussed in the Joint Human Rights Committee as chair, showing considerable skill in getting every opposition party to support her in the role. A loss for the SNP but a smart move for Cherry, who can keep tabs on progress from the side.
Nothing of value has actually been lost, as these two enjoyed the comfort of the green bench a bit much. We still await the actual output of the shake-up from Stephen Flynn, which is sure to be some excitement.