A CONTENDER for one of the SNP’s top roles of national secretary says he hopes to improve the representation of “ordinary members” in the party’s ruling body.

Nominations for the party’s National Executive Committee (NEC) are being made ahead of the party’s conference next month, when members will vote for officebearers in the internal elections.

Lorna Finn (below), who currently holds the post of national secretary and was in charge of overseeing the party’s leadership election earlier this year, has announced she will be seeking re-election.

The National:

Others who have put their names forward include convener of the SNP’s Peterhead branch David Birkett, SNP councillor Kelly Parry and another candidate, Duncan Mitchell.

Birkett told the Sunday National he had decided to run as he believed the NEC was “quite unrepresentative” of the general membership of the party.

“What I mean by that is that it is someone who is not an elected member, someone who hasn’t recently been an elected member or somebody who works for an elected member,” he said.

“At the moment, 33 of them fall into that category out of the 42. Elected members are less than 1% of our membership, but they are 78% of our governing body.

“There have been a couple of tumultuous years in the history of the party, there’s been a couple of times where I would say ordinary members have been scratching their heads about decisions.

“When you look at the makeup of the body, it is hardly surprising that ordinary members would be puzzled sometimes at the directions they take and the decisions they make.”

He added: “I thought to myself if someone who is a very ordinary member runs for the NEC and gets on it and tries to encourage other people, very ordinary members, to join in, then hopefully we will increase our representation there.”

Birkett also emphasised he saw the other candidates for the role as “alternatives” and not rivals, and praised Finn on Twitter/X for her commitment to the party and to the role.

Finn announced her re-election last week, saying: “Busy and challenging year as the SNP’s national secretary – I’ve been humbled by the support I have received from members in the role.

“I’ll be seeking re-election for a final term to deliver and embed the vital reforms under way to ensure we fully utilise our mass membership.”

Finn was in charge of overseeing the first leadership contest in the SNP since 2004, including announcing the winner Humza Yousaf

She came under pressure when all three candidates said they wanted membership numbers to be made public. It was eventually revealed the party had lost 30,000 members since 2021.

Parry, who is SNP councillor for Midlothian West, has also announced her bid for the role of the party’s national secretary, stating: “I’m delighted to announce that I have submitted my nomination papers for national secretary of the SNP.

“Over the coming days and weeks, I will be setting out why members can put their trust in me and I hope to speak to as many of you as possible.”

The elections for the NEC roles will take place during the SNP’s annual conference, which is taking place in Aberdeen next month.