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  • Writer's pictureJim Manclark

AFI say's It's good to talk.

ACTION for Independence (AFI), the umbrella group bidding to maximise pro-Indy votes and MSPs in next year’s Holyrood election, has written to Scotland’s smaller Indy-supporting political parties, inviting them to formal discussions 'without preconditions.'

A letter signed by Dave Thompson, the former SNP MSP who is the group’s interim leader, has gone out to leaders of the Scottish Greens, the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) and the Independence for Scotland Party (ISP), outlining their approach to the 2021 poll.

AFI will only be fielding candidates on the Holyrood regional lists, and are urging people to vote SNP 1 – AFI 2, with the aim of returning a 'supermajority' of independence-supporting MSPs, what they describe as an 'unassailable' majority.

In his letter, Thompson said the most effective means of achieving this was unity of purpose and a single, broadly representative YES choice on the list, including individuals, YES groups and as many smaller parties as possible.

“Our constitution is unique in that it enables any independence-supporting party to join and stand under the umbrella of that alliance, with the only stipulation that they support the broad goal of independence and do not vote down an independence-supporting Government,” he said.

“We are also committed to social justice, sustainability, equality and diversity. Beyond that, parties choosing to stand under the AFI ‘umbrella’ will be completely free to promote their own policies and identity.”

Formerly known as the Alliance for Independence, which the Electoral Commission said was unacceptable, AFI is awaiting approval of its name change.

Thompson said the intention was to ensure that parties coming under the Action for Independence 'umbrella' – such as Solidarity, which joined last month – would be allocated some winnable seats on the list, which would be negotiated by them and AFI’s National Executive.

He added: “Umbrella parties will choose their own candidates for the places thus negotiated, without any veto from AFI, and will be completely free to promote their own policies and identity.

“On that basis, and following re-submission of our application to register with the Electoral Commission, we write to ask that you consider entering into formal discussions with us with a view to joining AFI, for the sole purpose of standing for the Holyrood 2021 elections.

“We are happy to meet with you, without preconditions, to discuss matters at a time of mutual convenience.”

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