Former SNP minister Fergus Ewing warned that his party would no longer “put the interests of the Scottish people first” following his suspension.
Mr Ewing was given a week-long ban after he repeatedly rebelled against Humza Yousaf’s government on key policy issues.
And in a fiery statement he said it “saddens me” that Nats bosses had not stood up for Scotland.
But when asked if he had any regrets, Mr Ewing said: “No, I have no regrets.”
Reacting to the lockdown, he said: “What should I do now? Should I pretend these promises were never made, or should I fool my constituents into thinking they were treated fairly when they clearly weren’t?
“Or should I speak out fearlessly and apply the same pressure that has already brought down the bottle return scheme and damaging fishing proposals, right down to the crazy kettle ban and keeping promises on our vital roads?
“I choose to defend my constituents and let the cards fall as they will.”
The Inverness and Nairn MSP has voiced strong criticism of the SNP’s power-sharing deal with the Greens, branding the coalition partners “extremists”.
A special meeting of SNP MPs was held in Holyrood to vote on the suspension – with two thirds of those attending having to support the move.
Although the Nats did not reveal the numbers, 48 voted in favor of the sanction, nine supported Mr Ewing and four MSPs abstained.
The First Minister missed the meeting after earlier telling a committee he was suffering from “man flu” and took the rest of the day off.
Although no party staff were allowed into the room at Holyrood, Mr Ewing had his lawyer John Campbell KC with him.
Flanked by fellow MSPs Kate Forbes, Christine Grahame and his sister Annabelle Ewing, Mr Ewing said: “I was, as many of you know, literally born into the SNP and have been the support of the SNP for myself and many others, including myself Party and its advocacy. “Independent for Scotland has been my life’s work.”
Mr Ewing said he had campaigned for SNP loyalty for many years and had “bitten my tongue” when he disagreed with certain party policies.
He said he did so because he believed the party was “fundamentally approaching and standing up for Scotland in the right way”. The SNP is no ordinary party, we are a party that has always put Scotland first and to me that means putting the interests of the Scottish people first. But in good conscience, and I’m sorry to say this, I don’t think that’s the case anymore.”
Mr Ewing said his rebellion had “nothing at all to do with personalities” or his “antipathy” towards the Greens, but said it was to do with a range of policies pursued by Nicola Sturgeon and Mr Yousaf – such as bail Returns policy, fishing policy, short-term rental regulations and plans to force people to replace their gas boilers with heat pumps in the coming years.
He also criticized the SNP over the delays on the A9.
Mr Ewing’s suspension comes after he repeatedly rebelled against the SNP-Greens government and voted to oust minister Lorna Slater.
He criticized Mr Yousaf’s government over measures such as gender recognition reform, highly protected marine areas and the lack of progress in doubling the A9.
Earlier this month he rebelled against the government when voting on calls for a 12-month delay to the short-term rental licensing system.
Mr Ewing, a former rural economy minister, also called for SNP members to be allowed a new vote on the power-sharing deal with the Greens – and branded his party’s coalition partners “extremists”.
Read more at the Scottish Sun
An SNP spokesman said: “At a meeting this evening it was suggested that Fergus Ewing be suspended from the SNP Holyrood Group for a week.”
Mr Ewing has two weeks to appeal the suspension before it takes effect.
We pay for your stories and videos! Do you have a story or video for The Scottish Sun? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0141 420 5200