THE decision of Ian Blackford to stand down as an MP is not totally surprising as the revised electoral boundaries are due to be announced within the next three weeks. The proposal to create an Inverness-shire and Wester Ross seat which includes Skye is ludicrous, but his move also avoids the potential for a selection battle with Drew Hendry, the current MP for Inverness, Nairn, Badenoch and Strathspey.

The reaction of the Liberal Democrats is typical of their muddled thinking as their Scottish leader Alex Cole-Hamilton refers to their hopes of regaining Ross, Skye and Lochaber, a seat which will almost certainly not exist at next year’s Westminster General Election, and contradicts what has been published locally.

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Their most recent edition of “The Highlander” from Angus MacDonald describes him as their candidate for Inverness-shire. Despite the positive image Angus MacDonald tries to project, it is a further example of them playing the personality.

He attacks the First Minister, Deputy First Minister and SNP Westminster leader and all SNP politicians as professional politicians, which is simply untrue. For example, Humza Yousaf worked in a call centre, Shona Robinson worked in Glasgow’s social work department for more than 10 years and Stephen Flynn was a councillor before becoming an MP.

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Indeed, if you look at either of his possible opponents, depending on the outcome of the Boundary Commission review later this month, this is even more true. Ian Blackford was a director of Deutsche Bank for many years before winning in 2015, while before his election in 2015 Drew Hendry set up his own business, which has been very successful and carries on today, after a successful period as leader of Highland Council.

I hope this is not going to set the tone of the Liberal Democrats’ campaign for the next 12 to 18 months, but given the sustained campaign against Michelle Thomson in Edinburgh West when she was only interviewed as a witness in conjunction with allegations against a solicitor, I fear the worst.

Munro Ross

JAMIE Hepburn’s advocacy of a multi-option referendum has as much chance of being accepted by Westminster as others from the SNP. Granting a referendum is a weakening of Westminster’s power and status and will be rejected as such. No referendum can be granted on independence or constitutional change if there’s the slightest chance of success.

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This is just another example of the SNP kicking independence further into the long grass. It has to be seen as an attempt to bolster the SNP’s faltering ratings in opinion polls whilst at the same time independence is gaining favour. It also gives credence to the view that the high heid yins of the SNP no longer seek independence but are unwilling to come out and say so. The event in Dundee later this month will likely only muddy the waters even more, as unlike a conference it has no decisive powers.

Time for the MEMBERSHIP to take back control of the SNP and clear out the time-servers who appear to be running things. Without independence there is no point to the SNP and no reason to vote for them.

Drew Reid

JAMIE Hepburn has said that there should be a “discussion” with Labour on a “devo max” option in a referendum should the Labour Party win the next General Election.

As such Humza Yousaf has no option but so sack him immediately. Any third option on a referendum ballot will split the Yes/No vote and will most certainly reduce the vote for independence. This is not rocket science. If the SNP tolerate this nonsense at all then the cause of independence will be lost for generations.

Jamie Hepburn could of course take the honourable course of action and resign with immediate effect. He seems to misunderstand his remit. He is supposed to be the Minister for Independence.

Watson Crawford

READ MORE: Jamie Hepburn: SNP should 'consider' multi-option independence referendum

I AM angry and perplexed that the Minister for Independence Jamie Hepburn is suggesting the SNP should put forward devo max as part of a multi-option referendum.

FM Humza Yousaf says the UK is “eroding Scottish powers”, making devolution unworkable, so why the hell would a minister for independence, or in fact the SNP as a whole, put devo max in any conversations/negotiations?

I have supported the SNP all my adult life, since my very first ever vote, but I am at the end of my tether with what is now apparently a party of headless chickens. Why are they not using our Scottish sovereignty (Treaty of Rights)? Instead they are pussyfooting around whilst allowing Westminster to undermine our parliament and our Scottish law whilst we, the people who have put trust in them, suffer the consequences of their inaction on independence.

Are they just going to sit back and let Westminster take away our parliament altogether?

Anne Smart