ALEX Salmond’s Alba Party has welcomed its 6000th member, as registration opens for its party conference in September.

Long-standing SNP member Moira Brown became the 6000th person to sign up for Alba – saying she wanted faster progress to Scottish independence.

Salmond presented Brown with a Scotland football strip numbered 6000 as he made a surprise visit to her home to welcome her to the party.

Alba’s inaugural party conference will be held at Greenock town hall on September 11 and 12.

The former first minister launched the party earlier this year, with Alba candidates running for list seats in the Scottish Parliament elections.

It failed to win any MSPs, but it has two MPs and a number of councillors around Scotland who left the SNP in order to join.

READ MORE: It’s rich for anyone in Alba Party to call the First Minister a failure

Salmond said: “Moira Brown, with her 65 years of experience in the SNP, will be a great asset to the burgeoning ranks of Alba.

“We are proud to welcome her as member number 6000.

“People like Moira are the heart and soul of the independence movement.

“She has seen it grow from a tiny acorn to a mighty oak and now wants to see the realisation of her lifelong political dream.”

The National:

Brown, who turns 89 this year, said: “One of the things I liked about the SNP is that it was a party that came from the bottom up, but I can’t say that now.

“I have had my doubts the past few years and it cumulated in me talking and listening to other people and soul-searching about leaving [the SNP].

“Sixty-five years is a long time to belong to a party.”