Two Scottish MPs defect to the Alba Party with indy ‘supermajority’ on the cards

Support us and go ad-free

Two members of the Scottish Nationalist Party (SNP) have defected to Alex Salmond’s new Alba Party. Neale Hanvey followed East Lothian MP Kenny MacAskill in joining the newly-formed operation.

Indy supermajority

Salmond announced he would be standing as a candidate in May’s Holyrood election on 26 March. This would be as part of plans to gain a “supermajority” for independence supporters in the Parliament. As the BBC explained:

by running candidates across Scotland, it has the potential to change the nature of the race in more or less every seat – partly because of the way Scotland’s voting system works.

Under that system, MSPs can be elected either as a representative of a constituency or from one of eight regions of Scotland.
In 2016, the SNP got the vast majority of its wins from the constituency contests – it had just four regional list MSPs.
The Scottish Greens stand primarily on the regional lists, and usually aim to sweep up the “second votes” of pro-independence types who vote SNP in their constituencies.

Salmond told Times Radio:

I hope and believe that Scottish nationalists at Westminster will be looking to the day that he or she would be transferred to the Scottish Parliament and it’s quite reasonable that Kenny MacAskill and Neale Hanvey think that that is going to be within this term of the parliament given the political opportunity that we now sense.

Neale Hanvey

Hanvey was previously suspended by the SNP for using antisemitic language on social media. He apologised for any offence caused in the days following his suspension.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

The MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath also lost his role as SNP vaccine spokesman in February. This was after posting a message on a crowdfunder page raising that was money to bring a defamation action against Aberdeen North MP Kirsty Blackman and others.

Hanvey said:

The people of Scotland will always be my priority and it’s therefore a very real honour to be standing for Alba and an independence supermajority.

Unhappy unionists united

Scottish Labour campaign co-chair Neil Bibby said:

Neale Hanvey and Kenny MacAskill must both stand down and give their constituents the chance to elect politicians more interested in guaranteeing Scotland’s recovery than endlessly refighting yesterday’s war.

Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign chair Alistair Carmichael MP said:

Like paint chipping off an old and decaying wall, Neale Hanvey’s defection is the latest episode in the nationalists’ bitter, twisted and divided civil war.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said:

Sturgeon and Salmond may now despise each other but they are united by their obsessive determination to rip Scotland out of the United Kingdom.

All focus should be on the pandemic and our recovery but Sturgeon’s SNP and Salmond’s ultra-nationalists want this election to be another divisive fight about the constitution.

Kenny MacAskill

Former Holyrood justice secretary MacAskill said he would not be standing down to allow a by-election. He told Sky’s Ridge on Sunday:

During the Parliament I served in, Alex Salmond and indeed John Swinney, the Deputy First Minister of the Scottish Parliament, stood on a dual mandate and represented both Westminster and Holyrood.

I’ll be seeking to represent Holyrood as well as containing and continuing to serve my constituents in East Lothian.

North Lanarkshire councillor Lynne Anderson has also defected from the SNP to Alba.

Turbulence

The party launch comes after a turbulent period for the SNP and the Scottish Government, led by Salmond’s successor Nicola Sturgeon. The Alba Party will only be standing candidates in the regional lists in an attempt to boost pro-independence numbers in Holyrood.

Salmond urged voters to back the SNP or another pro-independence party in the constituency seats.

Lorna Slater, co-leader of the Scottish Greens, said:

This new party has been thrown together at the last minute by a man who is less popular in Scotland than Boris Johnson is. The Scottish Greens have shown progress in every election in Scotland. We’ve had MSPs in the Parliament since the beginning and we have an excellent track record of delivering things like fairer taxes in Scotland.

An SNP spokesman said:

The SNP is focused on tackling Covid-19 and securing a strong, fair and green recovery for Scotland as an independent country in a post-pandemic referendum. Only both votes SNP on May 6 can put Scotland’s future in Scotland’s hands – not Boris Johnson’s.

Support us and go ad-free

Do your bit for independent journalism

Did you know that less than 1.5% of our readers contribute financially to The Canary? Imagine what we could do if just a few more people joined our movement to achieve a shared vision of a free and fair society where we nurture people and planet.

We need you to help out, if you can.

When you give a monthly amount to fund our work, you are supporting truly independent journalism. We hold power to account and have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence the counterpoint to the mainstream.

You can count on us for rigorous journalism and fearless opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right wing mainstream media.

In return you get:

  • Advert free reading experience
  • Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
  • 20% discount from our shop

 

The Canary Fund us
  • Show Comments
    1. At best the Alba Party will get a few MSPs, likely at the expense of the Scottish Greens, who’d probably see their number of MSPs at least halved. At worst Alba will get no MSPs and it will prevent the SNP from picking up crucial list seats in electoral regions like the Highlands & Islands and South Scotland.

    2. The more the merrier for independence. Its looking like the forming of an Independence patliament already. One knows a move to insult the personal character of Sturgeon is underway to influence the voters away from Indy. But with two partys this won’t be as easy.
      Takes the place of dragging out the “scandal” which looks so minor. How long ago was it????
      What happened really? Sex? Oh my god!! Has this happened before in Westminister??
      Shallow selfish minds attempt to rule those who don’t care..
      That’s my spin.

    3. He is still coming across as a bit of a creep after having admitted certain dubious actions in his recent legal outing. Don’t know why ppl are voting for him just on that basis, it would be like voting for a philandering toff who was cheating on his wife while she was dealing with cancer.

      1. You class a sleepy cuddle and a consensual kiss as “certain dubious actions”? Never mind him being cleared of everything, just focus on and exaggerate encounters that weren’t denied? And saying people are voting for him just because he’s a creep is bang out of order. Comparing a kiss and a cuddle to cheating on a cancer suffering wife, though? That is straight out of the ridiculous & desperate unionist handbook.

      2. A philandering toff who was cheating on his wife while she was dealing with cancer?
        I think you are mixing him up with the current PM at Westminster, Mr Boris Johnson, who too many people in England voted for.

    Leave a Reply

    Join the conversation

    Please read our comment moderation policy here.