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Inverness-based SNP Highland councillor suspended for criticising Scottish Government over coronavirus response

By Louise Glen

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Councillor Ron MacWilliam.
Councillor Ron MacWilliam.

AN outspoken councillor has been suspended by the SNP for criticising the Scottish Government’s response to the coronavirus crisis.

Firebrand Ron MacWilliam has raised his concerns about a lack of urgency in the response to the pandemic on social media.

Cllr MacWilliam, who has represented Inverness Ness-side since May 2017, said he was shocked the party was playing politics at a time when everyone needed to pull together. He was told by the national organiser of the SNP, Angus MacLeod, that he was in an “administrative suspension”.

An email to Cllr MacWilliam, said: “There’s been a vote taken, and a decision to remove the whip for the time being.

“It is in effect an administrative suspension, pending the full disciplinary process… at a later date.”

Cllr MacWilliam, who has been a member of the SNP for 29 years, said: “Now really is not the time for petty politics and settling old scores. I am working flat out with colleagues to fight the Covid-19 pandemic.

“We need to raise a community army that will look out for our vulnerable people, to get personal protective equipment supplies to the healthcare frontline by whatever method, to seek the best public health advice from the medical and scientific community and possibly to co-ordinate a test and trace regime which will protect Highland communities from a second wave of infection.

“Everyone in public life must keep their eyes firmly fixed on that same ball.”

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