AN independence-supporting political party has relaunched with a new name and new branding in time for the local elections in May.

Restore Scotland, which was founded in 2020 on the 700th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, has changed its name to Sovereignty in a bid to better reflect its position as a pro-independence but anti-EU party.

“We wanted one word to convey our unique constitutional position,” said founding member Ewan Gurr.

Speakers at the relaunch on Friday in Hamilton included former SNP deputy leader, Jim Fairlie, whose son is an SNP MSP, and party leader David McHutchon.

Sovereignty intends to stand five candidates in five local authority areas in May after contesting, but losing, four Scottish seats in the Holyrood elections last year taking an average 1% of the votes. Gurr said membership had grown since the Holyrood elections.

“The first couple of years with any party is usually slow but any coverage we have had has led to a surge – that is what’s interesting,” he said.

“We have done very little canvassing and leafleting outside of the elections so our growth is partly organic but also, in part, due to a small but thriving branch network, including meetings which are well-attended and highly interactive.”

The party is standing candidates in Dundee, Dumbarton, Shetland, Kirkcaldy and Moray which is being contested by McHutchon.

“We have no illusions regarding our likelihood of securing electoral representation in this election,” said Gurr.

“For us it is about building a base. In every one of the places we stood in the parliamentary elections we had a surge in membership as a consequence.”

The party’s website states: “Sovereignty stands for the independence of Scotland from the UK and EU; the liberty of the individual; the value and the autonomy of the family; the sanctity of human life; and, the health and wellbeing of the people of Scotland.”

There are currently branches in Aberdeenshire, Dundee, Glasgow and South Lanarkshire, and the party hopes to open others as soon it reaches a “critical mass” of members in different locations.

Gurr, who is standing in Dundee, said the party’s campaigning would be locally focused for the May elections with the principle of local democracy being key.