THE Scottish Socialist Party’s national secretary has quit his post, launching a scathing attack on Colin Fox.

In a lengthy resignation statement, Connor Beaton, a member of the SSP for the last five years, and who was elected to the senior position in June 2017, explained that he had become frustrated with the leadership.

In a section headed “political shortcomings”, Beaton, who was at the top of the regional list for the SSP-backed RISE in the Scottish Parliament elections in 2016, says the party “feels more than ever like an organisation in terminal decline in both political and practical terms”.

It is, he added, “a shadow of the organisation I joined in 2013, let alone what it was at its peak 15 years ago”.

Beaton says Fox once “boasted” to him of being “the longest-running party leader in Scotland”.

He adds: “It was once pointed out by another member that any other party leader with such a record would have resigned by now.”

He goes on to say the party’s internal democracy is “fundamentally broken” and that “office-bearers regularly abuse their position to influence the results” of internal elections.

The left-wing activist said Fox “regularly phones branch secretaries and instructs them as to how their members should vote”.

He adds: “Political power in the SSP is ultimately held by the undeclared faction centred principally around Colin and Ken [Ferguson, the Scottish socialist voice editor], who, despite assertions to the contrary, function as the SSP’s de facto leadership and persist in trying to centralise power even further.”

Beaton also attacked the SSP’s campaign for the 2017 election, where he says they came across as pro-SNP and pro-Jeremy Corbyn.

He adds: “More recently, the SSP’s interventions in demonstrations for independence and against Trump have been grossly miscalculated, anchored around propagandising for our longrunning economistic campaign for a £10 an hour minimum wage instead of making a serious effort to win participants to a socialist analysis and plan of action for breaking the British state or countering the far-right.”

An SSP spokesman told The National they were surprised and upset by Beaton’s criticism, and said the party had been trying to contact their former national secretary ever since his shock resignation.

“We did ask him to meet us and to reconsider. Quite a number of attempts were made. He was emailed, telephoned, and no response came.

We made an effort and unfortunately he chose not to respond.”

The spokesman added that Beaton had “never at any point raised any of these criticisms inside the executive, the national council, or at our conference”.

He added: “It’s for people to judge the effectiveness of the SSP’s contribution to politics in Scotland. We continue to do what we can.”

The SSP won their first Holyrood seat in 1999, when Tommy Sheridan was elected on the Glasgow list. At the next election six SSP MSPs were returned, including Fox, although the party later split.