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SNP leadership not autocratic, says former depute Angus Robertson

Angus Robertson said those making the claim have “obviously never worked” with Nicola Sturgeon.

The former depute leader of the SNP has dismissed suggestions the party has an “autocratic” leadership.

Angus Robertson, who resigned from the role on Saturday, rubbished reports that some in the party wanted his successor to be more assertive and “stand up” to leader Nicola Sturgeon.

Mr Robertson, who stood down eight months after losing his Moray seat in last year’s snap general election, said he was reluctant to “stick an oar in” by making any suggestions about his successor.

But responding to claims of an autocratic leadership style in the party, he told BBC Radio Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “Whoever is saying that has obviously never worked with Nicola Sturgeon.

“I’ve had the good fortune that we’ve known each other since we were 15 or 16 years old and one of the things that I know mystifies other political parties where they tend to fight each other the whole time and not get on, is that in the SNP  we actually like each other, we work well together

“There is a very collegiate leadership within the SNP and it involves a much wider circle of people than some political opponents and maybe even some journalists imagine, and my experience of working with Nicola Sturgeon is not just on a political level but just as a human being and as a friend (she’s) always reachable, always happy to talk and always happy to listen to advice, especially when there’s a different view on something.

“The difference is, we just tend to do that better than other political parties, which I know mystifies our political opponents and some journalists.”

SNP MSP James Dornan, who represents Glasgow Cathcart, was the first to announce plans to stand for the position on Monday.

Mr Dornan, a former Glasgow City councillor, was elected to the Scottish
Parliament in 2011 and is the convener of Holyrood’s Education and Skills
Committee.

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