Nicola Sturgeon’s SNP rocked by MORE defections to Alex Salmond’s Alba party

Nicola Sturgeon‘s SNP was rocked by a fresh wave of defections to Alex Salmond’s new Alba party today.

Two senior councillors announced they were quitting the party to line up alongside the former First Minister, who announced a dramatic return to Scottish politics last week.

Michelle Ferns, who sits on Glasgow City Council, and Ellen McMaster, who represents Arran on North Ayrshire Council, announced they were jumping ship to join Mr Salmond.

Their defections come after two Westminster SNP MPs joined Alba at the weekend. 

Neale Hanvey, who represents Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, revealed yesterday he would be a candidate at Hoylrood elections in May.

Former SNP justice secretary Kenny MacAskill had already said he was jumping ship.

It comes as Ms Sturgeon prepares to make a major election campaign speech in Glasgow this morning. 

Two senior councillors announced they were quitting the party to line up alongside the former First Minister, who announced a dramatic return to Scottish politics last week.

Two senior councillors announced they were quitting the party to line up alongside the former First Minister, who announced a dramatic return to Scottish politics last week.

Two senior councillors announced they were quitting the party to line up alongside the former First Minister, who announced a dramatic return to Scottish politics last week.

Michelle Ferns

Michelle Ferns

Ellen McMaster

Ellen McMaster

Michelle Ferns (left), who sits on Glasgow City Council, and Ellen McMaster (right), who represents Arran on North Ayrshire Council, announced they were jumping ship to join Mr Salmond

Alex Salmond faced anger yesterday after he suggested Scots could take to the streets to force another independence referendum, before urging Nicola Sturgeon (above) to bury the hatchet and work with him to obtain one.

Alex Salmond faced anger yesterday after he suggested Scots could take to the streets to force another independence referendum, before urging Nicola Sturgeon (above) to bury the hatchet and work with him to obtain one.

Alex Salmond faced anger yesterday after he suggested Scots could take to the streets to force another independence referendum, before urging Nicola Sturgeon (above) to bury the hatchet and work with him to obtain one.

The SNP’s national women’s convener, Councillor Caroline McAllister transfer to the Alba Party at the weekend, along with Lynne Anderson, the former national equalities convener.

Ms Ferns is also planning to stand as an MSP in the elections in six weeks’ time. In a statement announing here change of allegience, she said she ‘would be honoured to be a strong working-class voice within the party delivering for the people of Glasgow’ in May’s elections.

McMaster, a member of the SNP’s member conduct committee, told The National: ‘Everything I do is about that vision of where we want to go as a nation. The SNP has made massive improvements to the lives of the people of Scotland. It feels like we have stalled. It’s time to galvanise the movement. 

Kenny MacAskill MP (left) announced yesterday he was deserting Nicola Sturgeon to stand for the newly-launched Alba party in May's Holyrood elections

Kenny MacAskill MP (left) announced yesterday he was deserting Nicola Sturgeon to stand for the newly-launched Alba party in May's Holyrood elections

Neale Hanvey, who represents Kircaldy and Cowdenbeath at Westminster, declared that he is joining Alba

Neale Hanvey, who represents Kircaldy and Cowdenbeath at Westminster, declared that he is joining Alba

Kenny MacAskill MP (left) is deserting Nicola Sturgeon to stand for the newly-launched Alba party in May’s Holyrood elections. Neale Hanvey (right), who represents Kircaldy and Cowdenbeath at Westminster, has also declared that he is joining Alba

Scotland operates a version of proportional representation, and Alba is only standing 'list' - or 'additional' MSP - candidates rather than running in the first-past-the-post constituency contests that could have inflicted more serious damage to the nationalists. Pollsters say that means it is more likely to hurt opposition parties, who typically end up with most of the list seats. The chart shows the result from the last Holyrood election in 2016

Scotland operates a version of proportional representation, and Alba is only standing 'list' - or 'additional' MSP - candidates rather than running in the first-past-the-post constituency contests that could have inflicted more serious damage to the nationalists. Pollsters say that means it is more likely to hurt opposition parties, who typically end up with most of the list seats. The chart shows the result from the last Holyrood election in 2016

Scotland operates a version of proportional representation, and Alba is only standing ‘list’ – or ‘additional’ MSP – candidates rather than running in the first-past-the-post constituency contests that could have inflicted more serious damage to the nationalists. Pollsters say that means it is more likely to hurt opposition parties, who typically end up with most of the list seats. The chart shows the result from the last Holyrood election in 2016

Alex Salmond faced anger yesterday after he suggested Scots could take to the streets to force another independence referendum, before urging Nicola Sturgeon to bury the hatchet and work with him to obtain one.

The former First Minister turned up the temperature in the ferocious debate by mooting ‘street demonstrations’ if Boris Johnson refused to agree to another vote on splitting the UK.

Mr Salmond made clear that he has not ‘forgiven’ Ms Sturgeon for the bitter row over the Scottish government’s handling of harassment complaints against him. He was awarded more than £500,000 and later cleared at a trial. 

But he admitted that she is the ‘only viable’ candidate to be First Minister after the elections in May, and said the drive to split up the UK would be his priority over ‘personal differences’.   

‘I’m not saying forgive. I’m saying these sorts of things – when it’s the future of a country at stake – you have to put the past behind you, and campaign for the future,’ he told Times Radio.

Mr Salmond was also accused of a ‘dog whistle’ to independence extremists by suggesting ‘peaceful street demonstrations’ could be held if Westminster denies a referendum. 

Link hienalouca.com

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