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Kate Forbes Has ‘Full Confidence’ In SNP Leadership Contest

SNP leadership candidate Kate Forbes has said she has “full confidence” in the integrity of the bitter campaign to succeed Nicola Sturgeon as first minister.

It came after Peter Murrell, who is Sturgeon’s husband, quit as the party’s chief executive, having served in the role for 20 years.

Murrell said he took responsibility after misleading information was briefed to the media over SNP’s membership numbers.

Earlier this week it emerged that the party had lost 30,000 members in just over a year.

On Thursday the party said membership as of February 15 this year was 72,186, having fallen from 103,884 in 2021.

This corroborated a story in the Sunday Mail in February about the party losing 30,000 members, something it had strongly denied at the time.

Earlier this week two of the candidates seeking to replace Sturgeon, Forbes and Ash Regan, raised concerns about the integrity of the election.

Forbes had called for an independent auditor to asses the leadership contest.

Health Secretary Humza Yousaf, widely viewed as the favourite for the top job among the party hierarchy, dismissed these as “baseless smears”.

Speaking to the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, Forbes said she now did “have full confidence and trust in the process”.

The point I made around an independent auditor was to try and give as much
trust and confidence to those that were voting.

“It’s fairly standard common practice when it comes to election contests for there to be that third party independent auditing.

“And I would hope that we can get to the end of this contest knowing that the decisions that SNP members are taking when they vote is the decision that they truly want when it comes to leadership of the party.”

The leadership contest is due to conclude on March 27.

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