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Douglas Ross says Alex Salmond’s Alba Party is ‘threat to the Union’

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DOUGLAS Ross has described Alba as a “threat to the Union” as he underlined Tory fears over Alex Salmond‘s new pro-independence party.

The Scottish Conservative leader’s comments come as it emerged his party is concerned about losing list seats to George Galloway’s All for Unity as well as to Alba.

Speaking to journalists earlier today Ross echoed remarks made by former Scottish Secretary David Mundell about the risk presented by Alba to Scotland remaining in the UK.

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“The future of the country is at stake. The SNP wants to take us into another referendum which Nicola Sturgeon has confirmed means during the recovery. They’ve set aside party funds to fight that referendum, they’ve got plans to hold one with or without a Section 30 Order, so yes there’s a huge threat and that’s why people have to completely understand that a vote for any nationalist party is a vote for division,” he said.

“Clearly different polls are saying different things, one saying he [Alex Salmond] would be elected, one saying they would get no MSPs but we have to understand the threat – they’re a pro-nationalist party who want to separate Scotland from the rest of the UK.”

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Ross added: “Everything we’ve heard from Alex Salmond has been about tactics which don’t sit comfortably with people across Scotland – the first day of the Parliament should be dedicated looking at how to get another independence referendum or not even having one and just going ahead and trying to separate Scotland from the rest of the UK… it reminds people the nationalists, being Nicola Sturgeon or Alex Salmond, are 100 per cent focused on a referendum.

“The Prime Minister has been very clear that as we come through the health pandemic and fight this virus on a health basis we also have an economic crisis to deal with, and we can’t do that with an independence referendum hanging over us.”

Responding to Ross’ comments that Alba are a threat to the Union, the party’s candidate for the West of Scotland Councillor Chris McEleny, who defected from the SNP to Salmond’s party, said: “Douglas Ross says the polls are saying different things about the extent of the Alba breakthrough. That is true. What all polls are agreed upon is the sinking ship of Conservatism under his bizarre leadership.

“Alba has been in existence for less than two weeks. However we have our eyes firmly fixed on overtaking the Tories in membership by the end of the campaign.

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“The Tories see Alba as the threat. More and more Scots will see Alba as an opportunity to register a regional list vote which will inject urgency and direction into the Independence campaign. It’s no wonder then that the Tories are running scared”.

Salmond’s party is standing four candidates in each of Scotland’s electoral regions and wants to see a supermajority for independence in Holyrood after the election which it believes will strengthen the hand of the Scottish Government to agree a referendum with Westminster or to bring about independence via an alternative route.

It is not fielding candidates in the constituencies and has called for supporters to vote SNP in this section of the ballot.

At the Alba election campaign launch on Tuesday, Salmond said he wanted the Scottish Government to begin independence talks with the UK Government in the first week of the new parliament in the event of an independence supermajority.

Polls have put support for Alba at between 3% and 6% across Scotland with regional variations.

Salmond heads the party’s list in the north east region.

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