Alex Salmond to launch Alba party election manifesto

The former first minister will introduce Alba’s policies on Wednesday morning.

Alex Salmond to launch Alba party election manifesto PA Ready
Salmond: Launching Alba manifesto.

A “supermajority” for Scottish independence is needed to “hold Boris Johnson’s feet to the fire”, Alex Salmond will say as he launches the Alba party manifesto.

The former first minister will introduce Alba’s policies on Wednesday morning, saying that “independence is not an alternative to recovery. It is essential to real recovery”.

Alba suggested the SNP and the Greens would “kick the independence timetable down the road” and said a split with Westminster was needed urgently.

Salmond, 66, will say: “If Scotland wants to have all the powers required to recover from the coronavirus in the way we choose, we simply can’t wait several years for a referendum and several more for independence, that would mean that the crucial decisions that need to be made right now will be made by Boris Johnson, not the people of Scotland.

“It means that weapons of mass destruction will be renewed on the Clyde instead of that money being spent on the infrastructure projects Scotland is crying out to be renewed.

“It means that if we want to mobilise capital to transform Scotland’s recovery we will be stymied by Westminster.

“Only by delivering a supermajority for independence will we be able to hold Boris Johnson’s feet to the fire and progress our independence with the urgency that is required.”

Alba has pledged to introduce free access to sport facilities for every under-18 to improve healthiness in Scotland’s poorer areas and remove “the financial barrier in access to sport”.

It also outlined its intention to pay £500 annually to half a million of Scotland’s poorest households.

The policy is aimed at “meaningful and targeted action to start reducing the unacceptable level of inequality that exists in Scotland as a result of continued attacks by the UK Government on the welfare state”, said the party.

Salmond will launch the full manifesto virtually on zoom at 11am on Wednesday, followed by a central Scotland campaign at 3pm in-person.