ALEX Salmond’s Alba Party is set to declare independence an “immediate priority” at its conference this weekend as it takes aim at the SNP.
The former first minister said the SNP and its power-sharing partners in the Greens are “failing across many areas of policy”.
He said an alternative pro-independence party is “absolutely essential” to stop people turning to the “tired old unionist politics” of Labour and the Tories.
It comes after Alba MP Kenny MacAskill accused Nicola Sturgeon of kicking “the independence can down the road”.
The First Minister yesterday revealed she had ordered her civil servants to restart work on an independence prospectus.
However, she failed to announce a Referendum Bill for the coming year.
Ms Sturgeon said a referendum would take place “only when the Covid crisis has passed”, with ministers aiming for one to happen before the end of 2023.
But Mr Salmond called for greater urgency ahead of Alba’s conference this weekend at Greenock Town Hall.
The first policy motion to be debated at the conference states that “Alba believes that Scottish independence is an overwhelming and immediate priority for the people of Scotland and notes with growing concern the failure of the Scottish Government to implement successive electoral mandates from the Scottish people to progress this aim”.
Mr Salmond said: “We will go into our inaugural conference with high hopes and brave hearts because the justification for Alba has never been more clear.
“The SNP Green Coalition is failing across many areas of policy: health; education; handling of the Covid pandemic, and that’s obviously going to have an impact on their electoral support.
“The last thing we want is people turning away and going back to the tired old unionist politics of Labour and Tory, and therefore an independence alternative is absolutely essential.
“A party that will campaign for independence with the urgency it requires, which recognises that independence is not an alternative or something to be postponed until after Covid but is essential to genuine recovery.
“It’s essential to social and economic equality.
“It’s essential to get rid of nuclear weapons.
“Independence is not something for the hereafter, it’s something for the here and now.”