Keith Brown's bid to become Depute Leader of the SNP received a boost in the last week of polling with endorsements from the world of business. Kat Heathcote, Director/owner of Witherby Publishing Group in Livingston, the oldest independent publishing house in the English-speaking world and Ian Blackford of First Seer have backed the Transport Minister's campaign.
Safety concerns about the transport of Trident warheads through Scotland have been raised by Keith Brown following revelations that the vehicles used to transport them are antiquated and should have been withdrawn from service five years ago.
Mr Brown, a candidate for Depute Leader of the SNP, said:
"It's no secret that I'm opposed to the presence of nuclear weapons in Scotland and that I'd like to see them permanently removed but while they are there we should be doing all we can to make sure that safety is paramount.
Candidate for Depute Leader of the SNP Keith Brown has called on the candidates in Labour's leadership election to come clean on their position on the devolution of railway powers. Labour called for Brown's recent announcement of the Scotrail contract to be deferred in anticipation of new powers on railways coming to Scotland through the Smith Commission that would allow a public sector bid but the party's submission to the Commission omitted.
Mr Brown said:
The SNP is to change its rules on selecting candidates in what Depute Leader candidate Keith Brown says is a victory for the new members of the party. Brown called for the change as SNP membership grew after the referendum, saying that the new members had joined in good faith and deserved to have that faith reciprocated.
Mr Brown said:
Keith Brown has called for power to decide on electoral registration policies to be brought home to Scotland in the Smith Commission after concerns were raised about the £80 fines for those who don't provide National Insurance numbers to back up their voter registration applications so the applications can be checked against DWP records. Brown, who was a Depute Returning Officer for elections while a Stirling Council employee, said:
Alasdair Allan and Paul Wheelhouse have become the latest Scottish Government Ministers to back Keith Brown's bid for Depute Leader of the SNP, pledging their support as Brown unveiled a list of more than half of the SNP's Holyrood group as backers.
Roseanna Cunningham and Margaret Burgess have become the latest Scottish Government Ministers to back Keith Brown's bid for Depute Leader, following on from Alex Neil, Humza Yousaf and Michael Matheson. The backing of the latest two Ministers means that three quarters of all the women SNP MSPs who are able to express a preference back Brown.
Keith Brown is the first of the SNP Depute Leader candidates to start laying out changes he would want to make to the party if he is elected to the post. He has already said he wants a rule change to let all of the new members of the party have a say in selecting SNP candidates for the UK General Election but has now started laying out a more in-depth vision of how he would like to see the party change, offering central support for SNP councillors and a direct line into the party leadership for them.
Mr Brown said:
Keith Brown has welcomed the support of two high profile figures in the Scots-Asian community for his bid to become Depute Leader of the SNP. Abdul Majeed, Convenor of Scots Asians for Independence, and Anum Qaiser, former General Secretary of Muslim Friends of Labour who has recently joined the SNP, both gave their backing to Mr Brown.
Abdul Majeed said:
"Keith Brown will make a first class Depute Leader for the SNP. Having spoken to him, I have been impressed with his plans to take the party forward, particularly with the huge surge of new members.
Keith Brown's campaign for Depute Leader of the SNP has received a huge boost with an endorsement from SNP legend Jim Sillars. Sillars, who came out of political retirement to play a starring role in the referendum campaign, said Brown is "clearly the best candidate to take us in the direction we need to go".
Mr Sillars said: