Fart joke SNP activist claims he has enough nominations to stand against John Swinney

A veteran SNP activist who made a fart joke at the party's conference has claimed he has enough nominations to stand against John Swinney to become leader, according to reports.

Graeme McCormick has said that he believes he has enough nominations from party branches to trigger a contest, according to Politico.

At last year's SNP conference McCormick described the Scottish Government as “flatulence in a trance”.

Anyone who can gather 100 signatures, including from 20 different branches, can trigger a leadership race.

It had been expected that Swinney would be crowned SNP leader and first minister after Kate Forbes ruled herself out of the race.

But if McCormick has got enough nominations it would give party members a vote on the matter.

Nominations close at noon on Monday.

Voting would start on Monday, May 13 and close two weeks later. It would also include hustings around the country.

McCormick, a former lawyer from Arden near Loch Lomond, almost beat Labour’s Jackie Baillie to become MSP for Dumbarton in 2007.

He has campaigned on land and tax reform and is an outspoken critic of Nicola Sturgeon’s focus on gender politics.

He also stood against Mike Russell to become party president last year.

In the vote among delegates, Russell won 599 votes while McCormick won 79.

In a speech at SNP conference last year he said: "What we have in front of us here, I would term flatulence in a trance.

"Because we're being offered things which nobody knows what they're talking about. You know, this thing and that thing and all the rest of it and we're supposed to come together on that."

When asked about a potential contest on BBC Scotland's the Sunday Show, Swinney said he respected party democracy but that he thought it would be better not to have one.

He said: "Obviously the party's got internal democracy that it's got to go through and nominations close at noon tomorrow.

"We will find out tomorrow if there are any more candidates than me contesting the election to be the next SNP leader.

"But of course, it's the democratic rights of members of the party to come forward.

"There are thresholds of support they have to pass.

"If that's the case, then we'll have a contest and we'll know the outcome in a few weeks time."

"Obviously I believe in internal democracy. So if that's what the party wishes to have, then that's what we'll have.

"I think it would be better if we just got on with things."

He added: "I think the SNP has got a chance to start rebuilding from the difficult period that we have had, under my leadership, and bluntly, I’d just like to get on with that as quickly as I possible can do, because every day that we spend in an internal contest, which I think we all probably know the outcome of, we delay the possibility for the SNP to start its rebuilding.”

Scottish Labour deputy leader Jackie Baillie said: “This chaotic SNP can’t sort a leadership race let alone run the country.

“Scots deserve a government that works for them - that is what Scottish Labour will deliver.”

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