AN SNP councillor has quit the party over its “incoherent independence strategy”.

Karl Rosie has served as an SNP member of the Highland Council since 2017 but said he was “increasingly disillusioned” with how the party was approaching the constitutional question.

He said: “I have pondered this decision for some time and it has not been an easy process.”

The SNP adopted a new approach to independence last year, which has drawn criticism from some Yes campaigners.

At the party’s annual conference last year, SNP leader Humza Yousaf announced the party would begin independence negotiations with the UK Government if it won the most seats at the next General Election.

The Scottish Government would simultaneously ask for permission for a second referendum. If Westminster denied requests for negotiations on independence and a second referendum, the SNP would then consider treating the next Scottish Parliament election as a de facto referendum.

Rosie said: “As a staunch supporter of independence for Scotland, I find myself increasingly disillusioned with the incoherent independence strategy that the party has adopted.

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“It has become apparent to me that we cannot continue to make promises of independence to the electorate when I believe it is no longer a priority for the party, and I can no longer stand by such inconsistencies.”

Joining voices such as Fergus Ewing and Kate Forbes, he criticised Scottish Government policies such as shelved plans to create a deposit return recycling scheme and highly protected marine areas (HMPAs).

He said: “I am deeply troubled by the SNP's policies, which often seem disproportionately focused on the Central Belt, neglecting the needs and priorities of regions like ours in the Highlands.

“Issues such as the highly protected marine areas, the deposit return scheme, the lack of progress on A9 duelling and upgrades, along with missed opportunities to develop a meaningful industrial strategy highlight the disconnect between the party's agenda and the realities faced by our constituents.

“It is imperative that our policies reflect the diverse needs of all Scots, regardless of their geographical location.”

And Rosie said that others within the party had “struggled” with the party’s direction.

“I acknowledge a number of my fellow branch members and those who campaigned alongside me over the years, not just on my campaigns but also on other political campaigns for other SNP candidates, will be disappointed with this choice I’ve made,” he said.

“I want to thank them for their friendship and support, and I can assure them I do not do this lightly.

“I wish them the very best going forward, especially as I know that others have struggled with the direction of the SNP, as I have. For me, it is imperative to put people before party.”

Maree Todd, the SNP MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, said: "After years of positive and successful working together as part of the SNP Highland team, it is regretful to see Karl take this decision.

"I wish Karl well on a personal level and hope that we can continue to work together in the best interests of people across the Highlands.

"The SNP will continue to focus on getting the best solution not just for the Highlands, but all of Scotland, and that is through independence.”