Alex Salmond says the Alba Party is “here to stay” and he is setting his sights on next year’s council elections.
In a video message to party members, Mr Salmond says the Alba Party has a strong foundation in place to continue working towards Scottish independence, despite not winning a single seat in the Scottish Parliament election.
He says all the candidates who stood for the Alba Party in last week’s election collectively decided they had built up “too much credibility and support” not to continue.
He says the party will be standing in the 2022 local authority elections, and has set out a five-point plan for tackling poverty as part of their election campaign.
Their plans for tackling poverty in the council election campaign include introducing an annual £500 payment for low-earning households, increasing the Scottish Child Payment to £40 a week, extending free school meals, doubling education maintenance allowance, and introducing free access to sports facilities for all youngsters under the age of 18.
‘Time for Alba to grow’
In his video he also says the television and media coverage of the Scottish Parliament election “impeded” Alba’s progress, and suggested the party will perform better in the local council elections because there will be no televised debates.
Mr Salmond says: “Having established ourselves, it’s now time for Alba to grow.
“There is a mandate for independence and we must see that mandate exercised.
“Our objective, because we are not an ordinary political party, is to help secure the independence of our country.
“Alba has a role, it has a significance, and that role will develop, grow and bloom over the next few years.
“Alba is rising.”
Mr Salmond also confirmed the party will hold its first conference on Saturday September 18 and Sunday September 19, on the seven-year anniversary of the 2014 independence referendum.
Anyone who has signed up to join the Alba Party by the end of June will be given voting rights at the conference on a one member, one vote basis.
Mr Salmond adds he is aiming for the Alba Party to have the third-largest membership of any political party in Scotland by the time the first party conference is held, predicting they will overtake the membership of both the Scottish Greens and the Scottish Conservatives.