I am delighted to confirm that I will be backing Alyn Smith MEP and his bid to become the next Deputy Leader of the Scottish National Party.
Alyn is one of our most formidable political talents within our party and is a formidable representative of our country. Alyn is the embodiment of the Scottish National Party – he literally represents the nation in his elected position, does so on an important continental stage at the European Parliament and brilliantly.
In the build up to that dramatic vote on June 23rd last month, he successfully pursued a nationwide tour to talk to lots and lots of people about the benefits of Scotland within the European Union before the nation went on to decisively back a Remain vote by 62% to 38% last month. He is not one for sitting back and being complacent and I had the pleasure to see him speak in both Kirkcaldy and Alloa.
And had it not been for Alyn’s selfless determination to get the message out about how important the EU is to Scotland then I do not think the result of last month’s vote north of the border would have been that decisive. He should not underestimate how significant his contribution was to that important result in Scotland, despite the overall United Kingdom outcome. And his speech to the European Parliament in the week after the referendum (via Guardian Wires on YouTube) vindicated why he deserves to be rewarded for his hard work not just in recent times, but throughout his whole political career.
I want to also pay tribute to the other three Deputy Leadership contenders who have declared their interest in the position so far in Angus Robertson, Tommy Sheppard and Christopher McEleny. They are all genuinely great people as well and I would not be bitter for a moment if any of them won the contest. This contest must be a good spirited one with a sense of healthy competition and an exchange of ideas in how to take Scotland forward to independence within the European Union.
But as far as Alyn is concerned, I could not be more proud to belong to the same political party as a gentleman who really knows what the SNP is all about – a team game, as former Highlands and Islands MSP Jim Mather once said. I will be more than happy to help Alyn in any way possible to advance the case forward for him becoming, God willing, the next Deputy Leader of the Scottish National Party.
Let’s make it happen for Scotland and for Europe!