Robin McAlpine, a prominent Scottish independence campaigner and director of the Common Weal think tank, launched a vicious assault on Scottish First Minister, accusing her of “blurting out utterly ridiculous bursts of unsupportable braggadocio”. He claimed the SNP headquarters was “utterly corrupt” and “has been for years”.
Writing for his blog, Mr McApline said: “It is I think finally possible to write in public what everyone has been saying in private; SNP HQ is utterly corrupt and has been for years.
“Everyone, in my experience, has been saying that SNP HQ is an utter disgrace for five years.
“HQ routinely (and remarkably openly) smears internal critics. It rigs things to favour preferred candidates.
“It simply ignores serious complaints if they’re about ‘the wrong person’.
“It is toxic and nasty, but people have believed they have no option but to stomach it.
“The real truth is that it doesn’t pretend to act for the party as a whole, but only for the leader and a small clique organised around her. It is a stain on Scotland’s democracy.”
“This is a real and present danger to Scotland’s democracy.
“But you shouldn’t despair, because while not all of it is temporary, one of the core reasons for all of this is that Sturgeon/Murrell won’t be around forever – perhaps not much longer, by the looks of things – and at this stage, almost anything would be better for our democracy.
“And there is nothing at all in the above which cannot be fixed – and fixed quickly – by a government actually keen on democracy.”
Mr McAlpine also questioned Ms Sturgeon’s approach to the coronavirus crisis, saying he was “dubious” Scotland is tackling the pandemic “better” than the UK.
He added: “Scotland is a country in which the first minister can blurt out utterly ridiculous bursts of unsupportable braggadocio with no consequences at all.
“This is a minor matter, but it tells the story. Right now, it is my belief that the Scottish Government’s point-blank refusal to put in place the pre-symptomatic randomised test and trace system Common Weal detailed, costed and called for four months ago is going to lead to substantial new lockdowns – if not another national lockdown.
“Every day Johnson is held to account for the failures of his test and trace system, and yet I’m dubious Scotland’s is actually better from what I can see. Up here, the first minister says she’s done it, so the journalists are satisfied.”
Ms Sturgeon previously told the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show she was focused “100 percent on tackling COVID” when she was quizzed over her plans to drag Scotland out of the Union.
Express.co.uk has contacted the SNP for comment.