The Scottish Greens today (16 Dec) confirmed that John Wilson, Independent MSP for Central Scotland, has joined the party.
His application to join was approved at the weekend at a meeting of the Council of the Scottish Greens. Mr Wilson intends to continue sitting as an Independent MSP, the same approach taken by John Finnie, Independent MSP for the Highlands and Islands, who joined the Scottish Greens in October.
Mr Wilson joins the party as the surge in membership continues, with the Scottish Greens now having over 7500 members compared to 1,700 before the referendum. Polls for the Scottish Parliament suggest the Greens are on course for around 10 MSPs in 2016. Membership of the Green Party of England and Wales has also been rising steadily, and has more than doubled over the year.
John Wilson said:
"I can announce that following a few months to reflect on my future in politics I have decided to join the Scottish Green party, however I will continue to sit in the Scottish Parliament as an Independent member for Central Scotland.
"Since the referendum politics in Scotland has taken a on new dynamic with people wanting more out of politics and their elected representatives. This I believe is good for the future of Scotland, however it is important that people still have a real alternative in who they elect to ensure political accountability and choice in the period ahead. I am of the view that the Scottish Green party provides a real alternative direction to the issues and challenges facing Scotland.
"The Scottish Green party is the best vehicle for reflecting my view on environmental, social and economic policies and is providing leadership on key issues such as fracking, land ownership and a citizens income."
Patrick Harvie MSP, Co-convenor of the Scottish Green Party, said:
"It's been great getting to know John better since he joined the Independent-Green group of MSPs at Holyrood. His membership of the Scottish Greens is great news and I know has been warmly welcomed by local members in Lanarkshire.
"The Scottish Greens are enjoying a surge in membership and a steady rise in the polls, and I'm sure John Wilson will help us make the most of that in Central Scotland. Our distinctive voice will continue to be heard at Holyrood, influencing decisions and raising the big issues, and I look forward to growing the Green group of MSPs to strengthen our work."
The Green-Independent Group at Holyrood comprises:
Alison Johnstone, Green MSP for Lothian
Patrick Harvie, Green MSP for Glasgow
John Finnie, SGP member, Independent MSP for Highlands and Islands
John Wilson, SGP member, Independent MSP for Central Scotland
Jean Urquhart, Independent MSP for Highlands and Islands