SENIOR SNP sources have labelled the party decision to delay a vote for an “official” independence strategy to October as “moronic” and "pathetic".

The SNP revealed delegates won't "officially decide" their independence strategy at the upcoming Independence Convention in an invitation to members on Wednesday afternoon.

In the email signed off by depute leader Keith Brown MSP, the party said the event is “the first fresh opportunity” for members to gather and discuss the route to independence – but delegates won’t "officially decide" the strategy until October.

One senior source said the delay in solidifying an independence strategy was “moronic, with the potential to toxify a debate that could and should have been settled by members at the convention”.

It is understood several SNP staffers and organisers feel the same.

The source, who works for the party, also said the summer campaign should be separate from the wider convention discussion after the party leadership linked the two together.

READ MORE: Here is what grassroots independence figures think of the SNP convention

They added: “The debate just needs to be settled and move away from process.”

One SNP MP also commented on the decision. They said: "Dither and delay won't surprise many."

Another senior SNP source said: "I think it’s pathetic – it only opens up more space for division and frustration, while what we should be doing is setting out a plan, democratically adopting a plan, and campaigning on the basis of the plan.

"Without a plan, leafletting and canvassing over the summer is kind of pointless and futile. Kicking the can down the road really isn’t helping."

Many activists expected a firm route to be decided by the end of the event, as when the date was set, the party said the convention "will be solely focused on how Scotland is able to hold a legally binding independence referendum".

Senior grassroots figure Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp previously urged the party not to have "another talking shop" and commit to a strategy decision.

He said: “It [the convention] cannot be another talking shop or the start of a discussion. I doubt the SNP membership would be happy with that and I know the wider Yes movement wouldn't".

He added that the SNP must stop “dragging their feet and decide a preferred road to independence” at the convention, or they may miss the campaign season. He said that without any clear decision made on June 24, Yes will have no “goal to aim for”.

But some do not find the announcement "moronic" or "pathetic".

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One member called the annual conference "the natural process" for deciding party strategy whilst councillor Junaid Ashraf said: "It makes natural sense to not decide a firm direction of travel in a single day? Learn from the discussions, and approach the party at a later date to ratify.

"Or does anyone really think we decide at a single convention what to do?"

Convenor of Edinburgh Central James Proctor also accepted the party announcement.

He said: "Totally fine with it to be honest. I look forward to discussing it at the Dundee event as well as at branch and local assembly level before making a decision in October. It's a big decision with a lot of nuance, and more discussion means more transparency."

The Aberdeen Independence Movement (AIM) reacted to the additional details by posting on Twitter: "It's good to see the SNP start the process of mapping a route to independence, we welcome the debate & hope to play a constructive part in the process.

"But at the end of the day only an independence election will save the SNP from losing countless seats."

The convention is to be held at Caird Hall in Dundee on Saturday, June 24 after being previously scheduled for March 19. It was postponed due to Nicola Sturgeon's resignation.

It is understood the event will be the start of the SNP summer programme for independence campaigning.

In the email, Brown wrote: "This exciting event kick-starts a summer programme of independence campaigning activity, including leafleting, canvassing, and regional assemblies; all culminating in our Annual Conference in October, where delegates will officially decide our independence strategy."

Various ideas on how to move the independence movement forward have been proposed and would likely be discussed at the convention.

These include former first minister Sturgeon's proposal of using the next Westminster election as a "de facto" referendum on independence. 

Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp, the founder of Scotland's largest grassroots independence campaign Believe in Scotland, said the SNP must stop “dragging their feet and decide a preferred road to independence” at the convention.

“If Humza Yousaf wants to make his mark, protect his party and unite the Yes movement, then the SNP's independence convention must commit to a de facto General Election campaign and motivate the activists to work.

“I believe that this is what the SNP members want, it's what the Yes movement wants and it's what the country needs."