MICHAEL Russell has told readers of The National he has been “extremely frustrated” with the SNP at times during his 47 year membership of the party.

The former Scottish constitutional affairs secretary, now SNP president, made the admission after he was pressed about a number of initiatives designed to propel independence momentum.

The initiatives have been announced by the party in recent years but appear to have fallen by the wayside.

Callum Baird, the editor of The National, asked Russell about the announcement on National Assemblies that were originally designed to be open to people across civil Scotland and “then ended up only being party events”. He was also asked about a plan unveiled by Nicola Sturgeon to write to every household underlining the independence case.

READ MORE: WATCH: The National Roadshow with Michael Russell - in full

Baird also asked about a plan to publish an “alternative” to GERS figures to reflect how the economy would function if Scotland was independent. Russell said he did not know about the examples Baird had mentioned.

“No organisation is perfect. All organisations get things wrong, make mistakes,” he replied.

“I’ve been a member of the SNP for 47 years and I can think of occasions when I have been extremely frustrated with the SNP. I was out of the parliament between 2003 and 2007.”

He added: “I think if you are in [the SNP] to achieve independence, you are in it for the long haul and you therefore have to keep going and you have to influence what happens in the party.

“What you have to then do is decide whether you are going to change it from the inside or whether you are going to stand outside and just shout. And my nature is, I will endeavour to change it from the inside. That’s who I am and that’s what I have been trying to do.”

The party has had a turbulent few years with tensions over Alex Salmond, the independence strategy and Gender Recognition Act reform. Resignations include Kenny MacAskill to Salmond’s Alba.