The SNP's Westminster leader calls for energising of party and country in depute speech
SNP MP Angus Robertson called for a "more active party" and an independence vision that can engage with "100 per cent of the country, not just 45 per cent" as he formally launched his bid to become SNP depute leader.
Following anothere recent surge in party membership, covered by CommonSpace, he stated how a revamped party infrastructure could ensure that all members could be more involved, in order to make a second case for independence.
The SNP Westminster leader and MP for Moray made the comments as he formally launched his candidacy for depute leader of the SNP in Edinburgh.
During a speech to party members, he said: "I believe that we all joined the party not to debate internal structures, but to look at what we could actually do to make all our lives better.
"People joined our party because they have a radical vision for Scotland where there is no contradiction between the priorities of economic prosperity, successful business and our vision for social justice."
His campaign priorities in his speech fall in to three categories which are his leadership experience, his plans for the grassroots and a new strategy for independence.
Commenting on his leadership skills, Angus Robertson, said: "This election is about the leadership team of the SNP.
"I believe I am in the best possible place to provide that leadership and work side-by-side with Nicola Sturgeon to deliver our collective goals as a party."
Speaking to CommonSpace, Robertson pitched the notion of a balanced ticket which combined the idea that he as a rural MP could balance against the leader from the central belt.
"I believe I am in the best possible place to provide that leadership and work side-by-side with Nicola Sturgeon to deliver our collective goals as a party." Angus Robertson
He also emphasised that having the leadership based across the centre of political activity in the UK, Holyrood and Westminster made sense from a logistical and tactical perspective.
He commented: "I also bring the ability to build on the strong relationship that already exists between our two biggest parliamentary groups – and with our members."
Referring back to the independence referendum in 2014, he argued that the conditions were different with the UK representing uncertainty and the situation "redolent with opportunity for the future, for Scotland".
Focusing on combining membership engagement with a new broader appeal for independence, Robertson said: "Now our activists, our members – you – are more important than ever.
"Our next job is to communicate with the many people who believe their 2014 referendum vote was to stay in Europe by voting No to Scottish independence.
"They are right to feel cheated. They are right to feel betrayed."
"People joined our party because they have a radical vision for Scotland where there is no contradiction between the priorities of economic prosperity, successful business and our vision for social justice." Angus Robertson
Robertson has already launched his campaign website, which boasts numerous supporters from a range of political, cultural and industrial backgrounds.
This includes Humza Yousaf MSP, minister for the Highland and Islands, and Kevin Williamson, author, publisher, founder of Rebel Inc and co-founder of Bella Caledonia.
The Moray MP has also committed to reaching a target of 5,000 pledged supporters by the time nominations close on 5 August. He is facing competition for the role from Councillor Chris McEleny, Tommy Sheppard MP and Alyn Smith MEP.
The vote for SNP depute will conclude when the membership votes in October at the party's Autumn conference.
Picture courtesy of Nathanael Williams
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