THE influential Wings over Scotland blogger Stuart Campbell has attacked the SNP for putting stopping Brexit ahead of leaving the Union.

In a further sign of splits in the Yes movement over Nicola Sturgeon’s approach to a second referendum, Mr Campbell said he and other Nationalists were “uncomfortable” with the SNP.

Mr Campbell last week floated the idea of setting up his own party to stand for Holyrood on the regional list system in 2021 if independence has not been delivered by then.

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He told BBC Radio Scotland that the aim was to win seats from Unionist parties in order to increase the chances of a pro-independence majority in the Scottish Parliament.

However he also admitted the idea was partly to goad the First Minister into taking a stronger line on Indyref2.

He said: “I don't think it's a great secret that I, and a lot of other people, are rather uncomfortable with the direction that the SNP is moving in at the moment.

"It seems to have become a stopping Brexit party, rather than a gaining independence party.

"That's something they haven't got a mandate for and it's something that if they were to achieve it, it would nullify the mandate that they do have from the 2016 election to have a second independence referendum.

"However, if they do hold a referendum before 2021, then categorically the Wings party will not happen, that's the whole point."

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Mr Campbell, who votes Liberal Democrat in his adopted home of Bath, also attacked the other pro-independence party at Holyrood, the Scottish Greens, as being “far left”.

The Greens accused him of being “too conservative for radicalism” and said his party would be “tepid single-issue” one.

The crowd-funded Wings over Scotland site is one of the best-read political blogs in the UK and Mr Campbell has become an influential provocateur in the Yes movement as a result.  

However, with his liberal use of profanities and caustic humour, he is also controversial, with critics accusing him of being a troll who whips up ill-will towards Unionists online.

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Mr Campbell told the BBC the idea of a Wings party at Holyrood party was at an early stage, and he had not yet decided if he would stand himself as a candidate, although he might.

He said the intention would be to stand on the regionalist list system, where the SNP gets a minority of its seats, in order to get more pro-independence MSPs under a different label.

He said: “The SNP's votes on the regional list get badly wasted by the Holyrood electoral system. The SNP got about a million votes in 2016, which is about the same number that Labour and the Tories combined got, but the SNP got four list seats for that while Labour and the Tories got 45.

"If the SNP's list votes went to another pro-independence party that could get a lot more seats and secure a pro-independence majority if one was needed."

However it is impossible to predict the outcome of the list system as it is so finely balanced, and the outcome depends on vote counts for multiple parties and constituency results. 

When the SNP had its best Holyrood result, almost a quarter of its seats came from the list. 

In 2011, when the SNP won an overall majority, they did so after winning 16 list seats with 44 per cent of the regional vote after getting 53 constituencies with 45.4%. 

In 2016, the SNP won four list seats with 41.7 per cent of the vote after getting 59 constituency seats with 46.5%. 

Mr Campbell, who was born in Bathgate but has spent most of his life in England, also criticised the Scottish Greens as being out of touch with Scots voters.

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He said: "The fact is that people simply don't want to vote for far-left parties like the Greens or the SSP or Rise.

"I think Wings has about twice as many readers as the highest ever vote the Greens have recorded at an election and many times more than the other small parties.

"I think people are uncomfortable with a lot of those parties', let's say radical, policies and I think they'd be prepared to vote for a pro-independence party that was a little more mainstream and one that they've known for years."

Asked whether the party would have policies on a range of issues beyond independence, Mr Campbell said: "I imagine we'd have positions on most things but it's far too early in the day to say what all of those would be now.

"The party is just a thought at the moment, we haven't actually formed it. There's no great plans being made."

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Mr Campbell said it was “very unlikely” a Wings party would split the pro-independence vote.

He said: “The SNP only have four list seats at the moment. Current polling looks very much as though the SNP would sweep most of the constituency seats again which means they would probably get even fewer list seats than the last time."

Mr Campbell also said suggestions the Wings party would be set up to take on the SNP were an "inaccurate description of the situation".

"The idea is to increase the number of pro-independence seats by taking them from the unionist parties, not by taking them from the SNP," he said.

On whether he would run as a candidate for the party, he said: "I haven't decided that yet.

"As I say, this whole thing is just a thought at the moment but I'd imagine it's fairly likely."

Mr Campbell’s statement that if the SNP hold a referendum before 2021, “then categorically the Wings party will not happen” appears to contradict what he said in an interview with Alex Salmond on the latter’s RT show broadcast in June.

Then, Mr Campell suggested he might form a party after independence.

Asked by Mr Salmond if he might enter mainstream politics, Mr Campbell said: “I have always said that I would move home if we won independence, I would move home permanently. I’m torn from day-to-day about whether that would be to form a new political party or to go and live in a cave with no internet for the rest of my life.”

A spokesperson for the Scottish Greens said: “It was uncharacteristically generous of Stuart Campbell to describe the Scottish Greens as ‘too radical’ for his fans. After all, this is the blogger who thinks Scotland is too wee and too poor to lead on climate change.

“The Scottish Greens have reformed Scotland’s income tax system, reversed the decline in local government spending, won new powers for councils and challenged the SNP’s backing for fossil fuels and the arms trade.

“While Campbell is discussing with his readers what to call his tepid single-issue party, the Greens will be proposing a Scottish Green New Deal which protects jobs and moves us to a zero-carbon economy. We’re independence supporters who understand that the climate emergency cannot and must not wait for independence.

“Stuart Campbell may be too conservative for radicalism, but that doesn’t mean voters are. “We believe independence is inherently a radical idea, and our Scottish Green New Deal represents the alternative that’s needed to the SNP’s Growth Commission proposals for continued austerity. If independence is about anything, it’s about a bold new vision for Scotland.”