The Alba party now has its first Member of the Scottish Parliament (MSP), as former SNP leadership contender Ash Regan has joined after feeling that the party has strayed from its focus on achieving independence.
Regan announced his decision to join Alba during the party’s conference in Glasgow. Alba was established by former leader of the SNP and former first minister of Scotland, Alex Salmond.
The ex-government official from Scotland stated: “I could not, with a clear conscience, remain a member of a party that has strayed from its mission and dedication to attaining independence as a top priority.”
Regan’s departure from the core issue that defines the SNP has caused her to abandon the party, following Dr Lisa Cameron’s decision to leave the SNP and join the Conservative party just two weeks prior.
In 2016, Regan was elected to represent Edinburgh Eastern and has since been warmly embraced by Salmond as a member of Alba.
“Her commitment to the cause of Scottish independence has never been in question, and her addition to Alba sends a powerful message about the focus and determination we bring to achieving an independent Scotland.
“By having Ash join our Alba party, we are enhancing our team and honing in on the pressing goal of Scottish independence.”
Her dedication and values are highly respected in Scotland, and I am extremely happy to have her join our team.
Earlier this year, Regan announced her candidacy for first minister and SNP leader, after gaining over 8,000 more votes in the 2021 election compared to her previous results.
In a competition for leadership, Kate Forbes and Humza Yousaf were also contenders, but the winner ultimately received just over 11% of the votes.
Yousaf mentioned that Regan’s departure was not a significant loss and stated to the National that he was not taken aback by the decision.
“It’s not a significant blow to the SNP group, I must say. And it’s also not surprising, considering Ash’s statements for several months, even longer.”
He suggested that Ash should step down from her position as she was elected under the SNP party.
Last year, Regan resigned from her role as community safety minister for the Scottish government in order to oppose contentious gender recognition reforms.
Regan, the inaugural MSP for the Alba party, has promised to assume the role of leader and revitalize the fight for independence.
I am dedicated to putting in endless effort to establish a Scotland that sets the pace instead of following it – a Scotland that sets the example in terms of quality of life, economic stability, and creativity.
Kenny MacAskill and Neale Hanvey, former members of parliament for the Scottish National Party representing the constituencies of East Lothian and Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, have both joined Alba.