Ash Regan says Sturgeons husband cant be trusted in SNP contest
Ash Regan shares concerns about Murrell running SNP contest
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SNP leadership contender Ash Regan has warned that Scots cannot have trust in the contest unless Nicola Sturgeon’s husband Peter Murrell steps aside from running to be the next First Minister of Scotland. Ms Regan, who resigned from Sturgeon’s government over her transgender reform legislation, told Sophie Ridge on Sky News that an independent third party needs to be brought in.
The concerns come as Mr Murrell has been dragged into a Police Scotland investigation over the SNP’s finances.
He is chief executive of the party but also gave it a loan of £100,000 which is one of the issues being considered.
There have also been claims that ms Sturgeon wants Scottish Health SecretaryHumza Yousaf to win the contest to continue her legacy even though he his record in various ministerial roles has been the subject of a bitter contest.
Ms Regan, who publicly clashed with Ms Sturgeon over gender recognition reform, is one of two other contenders with Finance Secretary Kate Forbes seen as Yousaf’s closest rival.
Ms Regan used her interview on Sky News to echo widespread concerns within the SNP over the fairness of the contest with Murrell overseeing it.
Already 50,000 people are understood to have walked out of the party during a contest which has seen the contenders tear each other apart.
Ms Regan said there was “a conflict of interest” for Mr Murrell to run the contest.
She told Sophie Ridge: “Effectively he is running the contest to replace his wife.
“If you think of that in a different way that would be like Carrie counting the votes for Boris’s successor.
“I think many people would think that to be fairly unusual.”
She went on: “I think there is a conflict of interest here. My campaign team have set out that we think it should be an independent third party company that should be running the contest.
“We have also asked for there to be a neutral observer as well to make sure everything is above board.”
Ms Regan also pointed out that the winner would not only be leader of the SNP.
“We need to be careful in this. We are the largest party in Scotland and the person that wins this contest will not just be leader of the SNP but also become the First Minister of the country.
“It is very significant and important not just for the members of the SNP but also the wider country that there’s trust in this process, it’s all above board and it’s transparent.”
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