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Young Scots for Independence

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Title: Young Scots for Independence  
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Subject: Scottish National Party, Federation of Student Nationalists, Derek Mackay, YSI, Youth wings of political parties in Scotland
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Young Scots for Independence

Young Scots for Independence
Chairperson Rhiannon Spear
Secretary General Greg Stewart
Headquarters SNP Headquarters
Ideology Scottish nationalism
Civic nationalism
Social democracy
Mother party Scottish National Party
International affiliation European Free Alliance Youth

Young Scots for Independence (YSI) (Sometimes termed SNP Youth) is the youth wing of the Scottish National Party (SNP). It is not to be confused with Federation of Student Nationalists, which is for those in higher education, and whose membership is not restricted by age, unlike the YSI.

The YSI is autonomous from the SNP and as such is entitled to formulate its own policies and devise its own campaigns. The YSI is represented on the SNP National Executive Committee and sends delegates to meetings of the SNP Annual National Conference.


  • Objectives 1
  • History 2
    • National Tour 2.1
    • NATO debate 2.2
  • National Executive Committee of Office Bearers 3
  • Branches 4
  • National Conveners 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7


Its objectives are:

  1. independence for Scotland;
  2. the furtherance of all Scottish interests;
  3. to increase support for the aims and policies of the SNP amongst the youth of Scotland;
  4. to provide a political and social forum for the youth of Scotland;
  5. to further the interests of the youth of Scotland;
  6. to campaign against the continued presence of nuclear weapons in Scotland and the wider world.


The YSI is a youth organisation set up to campaign for Scottish independence through the Scottish National Party (SNP). It is independent of, though affiliated to, the SNP. Formed in the 1970s as the Young Scottish Nationalists the organisation changed its name to YSI in 1996 when the YSN underwent a complete reorganisation.

Many YSI activists have since risen to prominence in the SNP, including Nicola Sturgeon the current First Minister of Scotland, former party leader John Swinney, the Cabinet Secretary for Finance and Sustainable Growth, Fiona Hyslop, the Cabinet Secretary for Education and Lifelong Learning and Derek Mackay, Minister for Local Government and Planning. In 2012, Humza Yousaf who is still a member of the YSI, was promoted to Government as Minister for International Development.

National Tour

The YSI, recently completed a National Tour of Scotland as part of the campaign for the Scottish General Elections. They visited target constituencies and telephone canvassed the rest. This meant that they campaigned in every constituency in Scotland. This played a part in the SNP victory, with every area that was physically visited being won in the election.

NATO debate

When the SNP debated NATO membership in 2012, the YSI publicly came out in favour of maintaining the SNP's opposition to membership of NATO on the basis that it is a nuclear alliance. Their Convener, David Linden, was widely quoted in the press as saying: "We have come to a clear and united decision not to support the resolution in the name of [1] "The party`s youth wing has a strong and proud history of consistently campaigning against nuclear weapons. The leadership has taken a clear decision to finally bring this policy before conference in October. Sadly we cannot - and will not - support them on this particular issue."

Despite carrying 48% of the vote, the anti-NATO group lost the vote and the SNP is now pro-NATO membership.

National Executive Committee of Office Bearers

  • National Convener: Rhiannon Spear
  • National Vice Convener: Rory Steel
  • National Treasurer: David Buckley
  • National Secretary: Greg Stewart
  • Director of Campaigns: Chris Glendinning
  • Director of Communications: Ross Deans
  • Director of Events: Amy Smith
  • Political Education Officer: Natalie Don
  • Equalities Officer: Roza Salih


The YSI is split up into branches where there is a concentration of active members in a geographical area. Individual members who are not part of branches can, and do, become involved though participating on a more national scale.

The current most active branches are:

  • Glasgow
  • Perthshire
  • Lanarkshire
  • Aberdeen
  • Falkirk
  • West Lothian
  • Edinburgh
  • Stirling
  • Ayrshire

National Conveners


  1. ^ "'"SNP youth wing attacks Nato U-turn as 'wavering in opposition to nuclear.  

External links

  • YSI website
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