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John Swinney Urges Unity, Warns Against SNP Leadership Contest Delays Amid Party Rebuilding Efforts

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John Swinney cautions against competitors joining the SNP leadership contest

The leading candidate to succeed Humza Yousaf informs Sky News that an internal competition for the role of first minister would merely postpone the "reconstruction" he believes his party requires.

Political journalist @NifS

Sunday, May 5, 2024, 10:

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John Swinney, a contender for the SNP leadership, has cautioned other potential candidates about joining the race, stating it would hinder the party's capacity to begin its reconstruction.

The ex-deputy head is presently the sole contender aiming to succeed Humza Yousaf, who disclosed his resignation as first minister last week following his choice to terminate a coalition with the Scottish Green Party, which resulted in the downfall of his administration.

Reports emerged today indicating that SNP activist Graeme McCormick has secured sufficient backing to potentially enter the race for the leadership position. Should he file his candidacy by the Monday noon deadline, it would trigger a three-week leadership contest within the party.

Live Politics: Minister claims polls are inaccurate following Conservative losses in local elections

In an interview on Sky News' Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips, Mr. Swinney acknowledged that any candidate who garners 100 signatures from 20 local SNP branches is eligible to participate in the leadership contest under the established "democratic process."

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Yet, issuing a caution to possible contenders, he further stated, "My campaign for SNP leadership has garnered extensive backing from within the SNP. The core of my message is to unify the SNP, bolster our party, and secure Scottish independence."

"I believe it's essential given the current lack of unity within the SNP, which is critical for the party's needs. My campaign has garnered substantial and diverse backing."

Further Details on SNP:

Kate Forbes Will Not Enter SNP Leadership Contest to Succeed Humza Yousaf as Scotland's First Minister

John Swinney enters the contest to replace Humza Yousaf as Scotland's next first minister in the SNP leadership election.

John Swinney: Leading Contender to Succeed SNP Leader and First Minister Humza Yousaf?

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"I believe the SNP now has an opportunity to begin its recovery from the challenging times experienced during my tenure. Frankly, I'm eager to move forward with this process as swiftly as possible because the longer we engage in an internal competition, the outcome of which seems quite apparent to most, the more we postpone the party's rebuilding efforts. I am keen to advance this recovery without delay."

Stay informed about the most recent updates from the UK and globally by tuning into Sky News.

Mr. Swinney highlighted the support he has received from Kate Forbes, a previous contender for leadership who was defeated by Mr. Yousaf last year and had been contemplating another bid.

In response to Trevor Phillips' question about including her in his administration, he mentioned that there were "a few obstacles to overcome before reaching that point."

Further reading: Who is John Swinney? Additionally, Mr. Swinney disclosed that he had a conversation with her, noting, "I believe she plays a significant role in Scotland's national affairs."

"I have emphasized that she will play a crucial role in any administration that I am fortunate enough to head."

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