MS Society Scotland branch calls for vote on independence from London

Eleven other branches demand extraordinary general meeting

The Caithness branch of MS Society Scotland has put forward a motion calling for a vote on whether the organisation should break away from the UK parent organisation.

Eleven other Scottish branches of the charity have formally requested an extraordinary general meeting to discuss the matter and one other branch has expressed a desire for greater autonomy from London.

In order for the constitution to be amended, two-thirds of the 3,500 Scottish members must vote in favour of independence and the motion must be approved by the board of trustees. The meeting will take place in September.

Children's author JK Rowling stood down as patron of MS Society Scotland in April claiming there had been a "long-standing and escalating conflict between the Scottish council and management in London".

Patricia Stanley, chair of the Caithness branch, said she wanted to start a debate on whether or not the Scottish branch should break away.

Ryan Norton, communications manager at MS Society Scotland, said it was unlikely the motion would be carried because the majority of the Scottish members were in favour of remaining within the umbrella of its UK parent.

An MS Society spokesman said the charity would abide by the democratic process. "We believe there are strong arguments for staying a UK-wide charity," he said. "But as always we are happy to discuss the pros and cons of independence."

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