THE SNP’s policy chief has come forward as the author of a paper incorrectly presented by a blogger as the party’s draft election manifesto and revealed he is not involved in work on the key document in any way.

Chris Hanlon, who was elected as policy development convener in November, hit out at the idea a paper he sent to party members was wrongly described as the SNP’s draft election manifesto by Wings over Scotland’s Stuart Campbell earlier this month.

“A couple of weeks ago it suddenly appeared in the pages of Wings over Scotland, touted as a leak of the SNP’s draft manifesto,” Hanlon writes in The National tomorrow.

“Five minutes of research would have revealed that wasn’t remotely true and that I was its original author but that doesn’t seem to have suited the narrative being constructed around the document so due diligence went out of the window.”

​READ MORE: Revealed: The truth behind the SNP's 'manifesto' leaked to Wings Over Scotland

He added: “So, for the record, I am not involved in any way with the drafting of the manifesto for the upcoming election. I have not seen the draft text and have not been asked to contribute to it in any way. I have made a few suggestions to the team at HQ writing it but I don’t imagine they have paid much attention to them. 

“But, as I have said before in this publication, it is not my place to write policy, merely to facilitate its development. So I don’t expect that I will have much influence over what eventually appears in the manifesto.”

Campbell responded: “I’m ridiculously bored of the SNP’s ever-shriller insistence that this document – which it freely admits to being a discussion draft aimed at shaping the manifesto – in fact somehow isn’t a discussion draft aimed at shaping the manifesto, which is precisely what we said it was. This is the third story in this newspaper about it over a period of 12 days, and appears to be simply a dogged attempt by the SNP at trying to discredit my site because we’ve been embarrassing it a lot lately, which The National is colluding with for reasons I can’t begin to guess.”

He added: “We’ve provided The National with several pieces of evidence backing up our original article, and I have no idea why both it and the SNP are still making such a fuss about it, since the key facts are not in dispute and it’s not all that interesting anyway – except in so far as it reveals that the SNP apparently still has no idea what to put in its manifesto about independence, even though the election is barely six weeks away and they’ve had five years to think about it.”

​READ MORE: Chris Hanlon: I wrote the leaked 'draft SNP manifesto' document

An SNP spokesperson told The National that the policy development convener has no role within the SNP Constitution for manifestos, and that for parliamentary elections, the party leader approves the manifesto, and its preparation is the responsibility of the depute leader.