IN OCTOBER last year, East Lothian SNP MSP Paul McLennan described Scotland as being “shackled” to an “outdated, corrupt Westminster system” in his regular Courier column.

Yet in recent weeks, we have seen the investigation of missing SNP party finances result in the arrest and release pending further investigation of former SNP CEO Peter Murrell, the impoundment of a motorhome at Peter Murrell’s mother’s home in Fife, and police raids at SNP party headquarters and at the home of Nicola Sturgeon and her husband.

Mr Murrell resigned from his role as SNP boss last month after overseeing the party’s response to reports that the SNP had lost over 30,000 members, which was described as “drivel” and “inaccurate”, despite the reports being entirely true.

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It has also emerged that the party has been without a financial auditor since October last year and is struggling to recruit a new auditor, which could result in the party being fined by the Electoral Commission.

Amid this, Humza Yousaf is pressing ahead with his decision to take the UK Government to court over the blocking of the Gender Recognition Reform Bill under a section 35 order of the devolution settlement.

The decision to block the bill came at the advice of its lawyers due to issues relating to the protection of single-sex spaces elsewhere in the UK under the Equality Act, as the bill would allow people to change their gender in Scotland from the age of 16 without having to consult a doctor.

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This court battle will come at the expense of taxpayers. It is designed to distract from the difficulties within the SNP, while NHS recovery and support for the cost of living are ignored.

To quote Mr McLennan from one of his previous column entries: “Scotland deserves better”.