Former SNP Aberdeenshire councillors join Alba Party

Two Aberdeenshire councillors have joined Alex Salmond’s new Alba Party ahead of May’s Scottish Parliament elections.

By Dawn Renton
Thursday, 1st April 2021, 6:00 am
Former SNP members Alastair Bews (left) and Leigh Wilson have joined the Alba Party.
Former SNP members Alastair Bews (left) and Leigh Wilson have joined the Alba Party.

Former SNP members Leigh Wilson and Alastair Bews left the SNP last summer citing personal reasons and have now joined the fledgling pro-independence outfit.

On Friday last week Alex Salmond announced the formation of the new Alba Party with significant defections already announced from the SNP.

The establishment of the new party, which will announce its candidates in the coming weeks, will provide a fresh perspective on these debates and, more generally, refocus the debate on the constitutional issue.

Mearns councillor Leigh Wilson said: “I feel re-energised by this new party and I fully expect there to be a market for the kind of things we are saying.

“The Alba Party poses no threat to the SNP on the constituency vote and instead we are looking to maximise the pro-independence vote on the list.

“The arithmetic case for such a position is unarguable, because you only have to examine the last Scottish election to see the hundreds of thousands of SNP votes that were wasted.

"The formation of the Alba Party is one of the most exciting political developments in recent years and I predict that its existence will shake the body of the kirk beyond the election in May.”

North Kincardine councillor Alastair Bews said: “It is clear that if the SNP win most of the constituency seats, and most polls suggest that is likely to happen, then voting for the same party on the list is simply wasting a vote.

"We have joined the Alba Party because we are committed to a social-democratic independent Scotland, and that can only be achieved by maximising the independence vote in the upcoming elections.”

Leigh Wilson continued: “It is so refreshing to be focussing on the most substantive issues: the economy, the environment and building back better from this pandemic. Far too much of our political discourse, in my opinion, is directed towards peripheral issues and divisive identity politics; I think most people want to focus on serious proposals on how to build a socially and economically just society.”