A FORMER deputy leader of the SNP has called for a "revolt" in the party to sweep its leadership out of power.

Jim Sillars, who twice served as an MP, said he could not vote for the SNP "when the rot at the centre is unmistakeable".

He said: "There needs to be a revolt and a change in leadership, a real sweeping change.

"The first action falls upon the NEC [the SNP's national executive committee] to demand and create the change."

Mr Sillars made the comments on the Yours for Scotland blog, run by former SNP office bearer Iain Lawson.

In a blog post, Mr Sillars accused the Scottish Government of pursuing "vindictive and unlawful actions" against former first minister Alex Salmond.

And he said those who advocate staying silent for the sake of achieving independence risk turning "the SNP and the whole independence movement into an ideology akin to that in Stalin’s USSR".

He also referenced the recent sacking of Joanna Cherry, the high-profile MP and QC, from the SNP's Westminster front bench. 

He wrote: "Joanna Cherry’s persecution is mild, dismissal from a shadow job, but the vilification is not greatly different from that dished out by the Kremlin’s stooges."

Mr Sillars accused the SNP's leadership of centralising power, marching supporters "up the hill and back down again" on a second referendum and attacking free speech. 

He said SNP members and voters "are in the same position here that Trump placed decent USA republican members and voters in during his presidency and at the 2020 election". 

He added: “'You are repelled by what I say and do, but you have nowhere else to go,' was his message. Basically the same as 'Wheesht for Indy.'"

Elsewhere, he dismissed talk of an independence referendum this year as "utter garbage". 

Mr Sillars, who was deputy leader of the SNP under Mr Salmond from 1991 to 1992, said independence will happen, but just as important is "how it is achieved".

He later added: "We should be ashamed of those who govern us."