INDEPENDENT MP Angus MacNeil has said he has “absolutely no plans” to join the Alba party.

On Wednesday, MacNeil announced that he will not rejoin the SNP Westminster group following his week-long suspension from the party.

The Na h-Eileanan an Iar MP was suspended after a bust-up with chief whip Brendan O’Hara.

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MacNeil’s suspension was due to expire on Wednesday, but he stated that he would not “retake the whip” until the SNP showed urgency on the issue of independence.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland’s Drive Time programme, MacNeil was asked how likely it is he might join Alex Salmond’s Alba party.

MacNeil responded: “Absolutely no plans to join Alba.

“I would like to rejoin the SNP in October and hopefully the conference will point us in the right direction for independence.

The National: MacNeil clashed with O'Hara (pictured) last weekMacNeil clashed with O'Hara (pictured) last week

“That we're going to use elections, we could have an early Scottish election if you wanted.

“The key is asking the Scottish people about independence, it isn't going down to Westminster to plead or to get a mandate if Labour have a hung parliament and they need us.

“And if Labour will then talk to us about an independence and if Labour will then give a referendum, we've got to deliver these things ourselves.

“We can't again go forward with a manifesto ask that’s dependent on another party delivering your manifesto, it’s complete nonsense.”

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Beattie put to MacNeil that his views on independence made it feel like he was “interviewing Alex Salmond” and said he sounded much closer to Alba’s position on independence than the SNP. MacNeil had previously argued that “the authority is the ballot box”.

“Well that's a position I've had for a long time and I've tried to argue it within the SNP for a long time as well,” MacNeil said.

“So, I mean, I had this position before Alba was founded, so it's not it's not a new position.

"It's a position that's maybe getting a bit more attention because the SNP have run out of road with the referendum.”

The National: Angus MacNeil said he would not be rejoining the SNP group at Westminster

Asked what he would do if the SNP don’t change position and he doesn’t rejoin the party in October, MacNeil said: “Well, I think we appraise at that point in time.

“I mean sadly I had no idea two weeks ago I’d be taking this course of action - a week ago.

“We sort of arrive at things as we arrive at things and we see and we change as time happens.”

Beattie pushed MacNeil on whether or not Alba had approached him to join the party, to which the MP joked that politicians from about “every political party” have so far asked him to come and join them.

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Asked if that included Alba, MacNeil replied: “They actually haven’t, but I’m talking to all politicians.”

“We’ve got to talk to everyone in favour of independence,” the MP added.

MacNeil also clarified at the top of the interview that there were no “threats” involved in the dispute with O’Hara, and that he had been asking him to “please stop sending me letters”.