A FORMER adviser to Alex Salmond has switched allegiances and backed the Scottish Green Party for the European Elections.

Alex Bell, who was the senior policy adviser to Alex Salmond from 2011 to 2013, stated that voters should use the EU poll to send a message about climate breakdown and Scotland's place in Europe.

Writing in The Courier, Bell said: “Every manifesto for the first Holyrood election in 1999 had an “environment” section, but we have been consistently behind our continental neighbours in things like recycling, bottle returns, carbon taxes.

“This is the country that concocted a proposal to reduce air passenger duty while also boasting about how it had set world-leading carbon targets, and all in the last decade, when the environmental threat from flying was well known.

“Which shows that it’s time for another green surge at the ballot box, another warning from voters to the main parties to take the planet seriously.

“We should use this election to declare the climate emergency which leading politicians hint at, but dare not act upon.

“In keeping with all European elections, its effect will be to say something about the state of domestic affairs. Which is why I shall be voting Green.”

He added: “If you are a nationalist and worried about disloyalty, then the Greens are pro-Indy. If you are a unionist, then an EU vote is no mandate for indyref2.

“What’s more, the Greens are steadfast Remainers. We have to change profoundly if we are to adapt to climate change, and we need to say that loudly.”

The declaration follows the Sunday Mail becoming the first national newspaper to endorse the Greens, as well as the party being backed by Outlander star Sam Heughan.

Green MSP Ross Greer said: “It’s great to have yet another prominent voice get behind our EU elections campaign.

“This is the most important European election we’ve ever faced, it’s vital that we elect Scotland’s first Green MEP to work in tandem with our European neighbours and tackle the climate emergency.”