HUMZA Yousaf hasn’t responded to a proposal from Alex Salmond for a pro-independence electoral pact, the Alba Party claim.

In an open letter to the First Minister released last week, the Alba Party leader warned that the SNP faces “electoral disaster” if it does not back Alba’s calls to put up a single independence candidate in the forthcoming Rutherglen and Hamilton West by-election.

Salmond said in the open letter that he first wrote to the First Minister on May 13 before making contact privately through his staff to request a meeting.

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He warned that “the danger is handing the seat to Labour on a platter” if pro-independence parties don’t stand one candidate.

Salmond had asked to receive a reply by today (Friday) in time for the Alba National Council, which will be held in Rutherglen on Saturday to decide on whether to contest the seat.

The Alba Party have now said that Yousaf hasn’t responded to the proposal, with party members attending the National Council tomorrow set to determine the next course of action.

The National:

An Alba Party spokesperson said: “Humza wouldn’t engage on the simple principle of standing a single pro-independence candidate because he claimed there had been no overtures towards him.

“This clearly isn’t the case and it’s a very simple thing he’s being asked to commit to, will he take it to his members at their October conference?

“It’s not good enough to say that the Deputy First Minister has rejected the idea because she has no role whatsoever in the leadership of the party. It’s up to Humza to show leadership and respond.

“It will now be up to our National Council to decide whether to put our case directly to the voters or to maintain a principled opposition to this by-election that nearly 90% of the people of Rutherglen and Hamilton West did not want.”