| 19 May 2024, Sunday |

Ex-Scottish first minister throws down challenge to SNP by launching new political party

The Scottish National Party (SNP) has been riven with division since Alex Salmond was prosecuted for sexual offences, which he always denied. Salmond was acquitted and immediately accused the SNP hierarchy of having tried to remove him from the political landscape.

Scotland’s former First Minister, Alex Salmond, has launched a new political party in a major challenge to Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP.

Salmond, 66, said on Friday, 26 March, the Alba Party would field four candidates in each regional list in the elections for the Scottish Parliament in May.

In a statement broadcast on Twitter Salmond said: “I’m announcing the public launch of a new political force: the Alba Party.”

​”Alba will contest the upcoming Scottish elections as a list-only party under my leadership, seeking to build a super majority for independence in the Scottish Parliament.”

Salmond led the SNP from 2007 until 2014 and drove up support for Scottish independence.

He resigned after the 2014 referendum on Scottish independence in which 55 percent of Scots voted to stay in the United Kingdom.

Sturgeon has been pressing for a second referendum, claiming that Brexit had totally changed the political landscape.

But British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has made it clear the 2014 referendum was a “once in a lifetime” vote.

Alba is the old Scottish Gaelic name for Scotland. Only around 60,000 people in Scotland are fluent in Gaelic.​

The Labor Party, which was dominant in Scotland until the 2015 election, will hope Salmond’s new party splits the Scottish nationalist vote and helps them make a comeback.

Last month Scottish Labor elected a new leader, Anas Sarwar.

  • Sputnik