THE Alba Party will stand in at least 12 seats at the next General Election.

The party’s previous calls for pro-independence parties to stand on a Scotland United ballot failed to garner support from both the SNP and the Scottish Greens.

Now, Alex Salmond has said Alba will make a widespread intervention at the General Election in order to ensure Scots have the opportunity “to vote for independence at the ballot box”.

At a meeting of Alba’s National Council on Saturday, it was agreed that plans would commence to stand candidates in a minimum of 12 constituencies.

It comes after Alba MSP Ash Regan brought forward the party’s independence “back-up” plan earlier this week.

Regan has launched proposals to consult the Scottish public on whether Holyrood should be given the power to legislate for and negotiate independence.

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Salmond said: “Alba Party called on the independence movement to move forward with a Scotland United approach but sadly the SNP have opted to go it alone - this is something that in Rutherglen we know was fatal for them.

“Alba are now the only party that have a viable strategy for the General Election and we are the only party with a credible strategy to move the independence movement forward - as Ash Regan MSP set out with her plan for a Referendum Bill to be progressed in Holyrood.

“The SNP strategy for the General Election is incoherent and recently the Greens have said that independence is no longer a red line for them and they would be happy to prop up a unionist Government at Holyrood.

“Alba Party now are Scotland’s independence party. Therefore our National Council have agreed that we will commence preparations for a wide scale intervention of at least 12 candidates across Scotland at next year’s General Election to make sure the people of Scotland have the choice of voting for independence - something I am more confident now than ever that a majority will take.”

Regan added: :“Alba Party are now represented at every level of Government in Scotland and people are seeing the difference we are making.

The National: Ash Regan is leader of Alba at Holyrood Ash Regan is leader of Alba at Holyrood (Image: PA)

“In Holyrood we are the only party taking the constitutional argument forward and the proposed bill I set out last week is the most significant pro-independence intervention in recent years. “If the Scottish Government supports it we can hold a referendum next year on our parliament having the power to negotiate for and legislate for our independence.

“At Westminster Neale Hanvey MP and Kenny MacAskill MP are raising the issue of independence and the absurdity of fuel poor Scot’s living in an energy rich nation on a near daily basis.

“As the Party with the plan and the strategy to move Scotland towards independence we will enter next year in a positive footing ahead of the General Election.”