SNP councillor Chris McEleny is calling for the party’s national secretary to “immediately resign” amid a row over recent decisions made by the National Executive Committee (NEC).

The governing NEC brought in touch new measures on so-called dual mandates last week – meaning any SNP Westminster politicians chosen to stand for Holyrood would have to resign as an MP.

The party said the decision was about avoiding disruption for voters, but many saw it as an attempt to prevent MP Joanna Cherry from running in Edinburgh Central next May.

This week, a blog post attributed to an anonymous NEC member described the decision as a “farce, a shambles and an incompetent mess”.

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They said the decision was so close it had to be taken twice and the result took 30 minutes to be presented, and claimed the “shoddy and improper” process was in breach of SNP rules.

There was also a row over MSP James Dornan being blocked from standing for Holyrood next year. The NEC decided to impose a women-only shortlist on his constituency – but reversed its decision shortly after.

National secretary Angus MacLeod ruled it was “unconstitutional” and it was dropped.

Now McEleny has accused MacLeod of allowing Holyrood candidate selections that have caused “great injury to the party”.

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The councillor challenged MacLeod for the national secretary position at the 2019 SNP conference and would replace him if he resigned. McEleny said he would shake up the party’s internal democracy if he took on the position.

In a statement, he said: “This unfortunate bourach has been the responsibility of the national secretary.

"It is with regret then that in order for the party to put this saga quickly behind us, the national secretary must immediately resign for the good of the party and for the greater good of the independence cause.”

Discussing the decision on Dornan, McEleny said it was “unacceptable that a combination of party staff on [large] salaries - the chief executive, a chief operating officer, the chief party clerk, and internal solicitor - paid by party members, and the business convener of the party, and the National Secretary were all unaware that they were proposing unconstitutional actions for the NEC to approve”.

The National understands a claim about the level of salaries received by those named is not correct.

McEleny added that MacLeod’s failure to ensure constitutional decision making was “tantamount to actions worthy of resignation”.

Although the “right outcome” had been reached in Glasgow Cathcart, he said, “injustice” in Edinburgh Central continued.

The councillor went on to say that MacLeod is a “thoroughly decent” person and he has no doubt that “actions that have been carried out in his name have perhaps not been sanctioned by him”. But he added: “Inaction is in itself though equally unacceptable.”

McEleny said if he replaced MacLeod he would immediately suspend the decision on dual mandates. He called for a “chief executive appraisal system” to make party staff more accountable.

An SNP spokesperson said: “We do not comment on internal party matters."