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Far north councillor in switch to Highland Independent group


By Alan Hendry



Karl Rosie has joined the Highland Independent group on the local authority after resigning from the SNP.
Karl Rosie has joined the Highland Independent group on the local authority after resigning from the SNP.

Far north councillor Karl Rosie has joined the Highland Independent group on the local authority, saying he wants to "put people before politics".

The switch was made public five days after Councillor Rosie announced his resignation from the SNP with immediate effect.

He said he was "deeply troubled" by the party's policies which "often seem disproportionately focused on the central belt".

Councillor Rosie has represented the Thurso and Northwest Caithness ward on Highland Council since 2017.

The 18-strong Highland Independent group is led by Councillor Bill Lobban (Badenoch and Strathspey), the council convener. He said he was delighted to welcome Councillor Rosie.

"He brings a wealth of experience both locally and on cross-Highland issues and will strengthen our representation in the north," Councillor Lobban said. "We will also benefit greatly from his extensive knowledge on important climate change issues.”

Councillor Rosie has been chairman of Highland Council's Climate Change Committee since June 2022.

The deputy group leader, Councillor John Finlayson (Eilean a' Cheò), highlighted Councillor Rosie's "knowledge and experience". He said there was unanimous support across the group for the move.

Councillor Rosie said: “I have said that I want to put people before politics – and the way to do that quickly and to the widest benefit for constituents in my ward, as well as across the region, is to join the Highland Independent group.

Karl Rosie says 'conversation, not confrontation, is needed'.
Karl Rosie says 'conversation, not confrontation, is needed'.

“I am thankful for the welcome councillors Lobban and Finlayson, along with the members of the group, have given me. I want to now focus on delivering solutions for people on the challenging issues of fuel poverty, the cost-of-living crisis and other matters of concern.

"Conversation, not confrontation, is needed to solve our problems, and that is the path I will continue on.”

Councillor Rosie was the SNP candidate at the general election in December 2019 and came within a couple of hundred votes of unseating Jamie Stone of the Liberal Democrats. Mr Stone held on with a 204-vote majority.

Announcing his resignation from the SNP last week, Councillor Rosie said: “As a staunch supporter of independence for Scotland, I find myself increasingly disillusioned with the incoherent independence strategy that the party has adopted."

He added: “I am deeply troubled by the SNP's policies, which often seem disproportionately focused on the central belt, neglecting the needs and priorities of regions like ours in the Highlands."


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