THE Alba Party have criticised a former Labour minister for his role in supporting the invasion of Iraq and called on him to apologise.

In 2015, Douglas Alexander lost his Paisley and Renfrewshire South seat to the SNP’s then 20-year-old Mhairi Black after serving as a cabinet minister under both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

However, he is now plotting a return to the House of Commons by standing in the East Lothian seat at the next General Election – a seat currently held by Alba MP Kenny MacAskill.

Over the weekend, Alexander claimed that he “cannot think” of an aspect of public life that has improved under the SNP and said that a focus on independence has stalled progress in other areas.

The National: Douglas Alexander, Labour MP and tweet-deleter

But Alba Party general secretary Chris McEleny said that Alexander has a “brass neck” to make such claims about independence when “his support of Blairism wasted years focused on Labour’s illegal war.”

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McEleny said: “Douglas Alexander claims that a focus on independence has stalled progress on other areas.

“How much progress on other areas was stalled as a result of the £10 Billion his Government spent on the Iraq War which resulted in the death of an estimated 1 million innocent civilians, and destabilised an entire region, as well as the wasted years spent in the pursuit of a discredited Blairite political agenda?

“ Any attempted return to frontline politics of supporters of Uber Blairism that backed grotesque policies such as the illegal invasion of Iraq must come with full and unreserved apologies for the part they played in supporting the Iraq War.

“Douglas Alexander shouldn’t only apologise to the people of Iraq, he must apologise to the people of Scotland for the part he played in ignoring our overwhelming opposition to Labour’s illegal war.”

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Alexander has previously said his “primary motivation” in returning to politics is to contribute to a Scottish Labour “comeback” and secure a Labour government at the UK-level.

The former MP served as chair of the board of trustees for Unicef UK between 2018 – 2020.

However, he stepped down following accusations of bullying.

A review found the bullying claims from executive director Sasha Deshmukh were “unsubstantiated” but that Alexander’s manner caused “discomfort and upset” to three employees.