PATRICK Harvie has ruled out the Scottish Greens taking part in an independence convention with Alba.

The party’s co-leader rejected Alex Salmond’s call to take part in a wider Yes summit with all pro-independence parties.

It comes after the SNP defended its decision to have a convention to decide its strategy for independence, without including other parties.

We told how the party’s policy convener said it needed “space” to decide the way forward, but calls have been growing from Alba and others to widen up the event.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond writes to SNP MPs about strategy for next General Election

The original event was cancelled in the wake of Nicola Sturgeon’s resignation and was initially a special party conference to decide whether to hold a "de facto referendum" at the next General Election.

Ash Regan, a former SNP leadership contender, has called for the convention to be “widened up” to include the wider movement.

However, Harvie ruled out working with Alba as they would "need to have some shared ground on social values".

The co-leader suggested that some Scottish Greens members would feel a “degree of discomfort” on some of the positions of Alba.

The Scottish Greens were vocal supporters of Scotland’s gender reforms, part of the Bute House agreement, while Alba were opponents of the legislation.

Asked if he felt the Greens should have been invited to the convention on June 24, Harvie told the Daily Record: "If it's about making SNP strategy it's entirely important they do that with their members – we do the same thing with our members."

He went on: "If it's about how the parties cooperate, there is space to do that, but it doesn't need to be at the same event.

"There is a need for the parties to decide how we are going to cooperate on running a campaign and framing the arguments.

"The Greens and the SNP need to cooperate on that. It's happened before and it will happen again.

"Both parties recognise there is a lot to learn from how it was done in 2014 and changes that need to be made from that experienced."

On Regan’s call for a wider Yes convention and the possibility of the Greens working with Alba, Harvie (below) added: "I'm not sure there's value in giving particular status to a party that's never had anyone elected."

The National: Patrick Harvie

In 2014, the Scottish Socialist Party (SSP) were included in the Yes campaign, and at the time had no serving MSPs.

Alba currently have two MPs, Neale Hanvey, Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath, and Kenny MacAskill, East Lothian. MacAskill was elected under the SNP banner, while Hanvey was initially a candidate for the party but was suspended and forced to stand as an independent.

Harvie insisted there was a difference between the Alba and the SSP.

He said: "They had a track record of people elected in parliament previously, and a degree of name recognition if you like.

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“Alex Salmond's name recognition isn't exactly positive value at the moment. He's a discredited figure, I think.

"A lot of our party members would have a degree of discomfort with the position Alba take on certain equalities issues, for example.

"It's really important a campaign for independence about the kind of Scotland we want to build.

"A campaign urging people to vote for an independent Scotland would need to have some shared ground on social values, that's really important."

The National: neale hanvey.

Neale Hanvey MP (pictured above), Alba's Westminster leader, said: “The Greens need to stop this silly dog in a manger stuff.

"On Coronation Day they boycotted the Independence rally in Glasgow Green which attracted 20,000 supporters and instead held their own on Calton Hill to which only a few hundred turned out.

"They should have taken a lesson from that. There is an overwhelming demand from the national movement for the independence parties to work together. If Patrick Harvie and the Green Party don’t heed it they will be left behind.“ 

We told how senior SNP figures defended delaying a vote on independence strategy at the convention until full conference in October as the “right process”.