WINGS over Scotland has insisted his new party is not linked to Alex Salmond.

Over the weekend, the prominent pro-independence blogger, Stuart Campbell, floated the possibility of a new movement standing on the regional list at the Holyrood elections in 2021.

An SNP insider told The National they believed their former party chief was behind Campbell’s plans.

The two men met recently when the blogger was featured on the ex-politician’s Russia Today chat show.

Salmond was charged in January with two offences of attempted rape, nine of sexual assault and two of indecent assault. He denies all charges and is expected to stand trial in early 2020.

He currently has a strained relationship with the SNP. Earlier this year he won a judicial review court case after the Scottish Government admitted its investigation into complaints against him was unlawful.

When asked if Salmond and his team were working with him on his party plan, Campbell replied: “No they’re not, and you can quote me on that.”

Earlier in the day, in an interview with the BBC, Campbell insisted his new party will not target the SNP but will aim to take seats from unionist parties.

He insisted there was a gap in the market for a party that supported independence and stood on the list but wasn’t the SNP, Greens, SSP or Rise.

Speaking on the BBC’s Good Morning Scotland programme on Monday, Campbell said:

“The SNP’s votes on the regional list get badly wasted by the Holyrood electoral system.

“The SNP got about a million votes in 2016, which is about the same number that Labour and the Tories combined got, but the SNP got four list seats for that while Labour and the Tories got 45.

“If the SNP’s list votes went to another pro-independence party that could get a lot more seats and secure a pro-independence majority if one was needed.”

He added: “The fact is that people simply don’t want to vote for far-left parties like the Greens or the SSP or Rise.”

Campbell said a number of voters would be “uncomfortable” with the “radical policies” of those parties and were looking for a “pro-independence party that was a little more mainstream”.

Campbell also said suggestions the Wings party would be set up to take on the SNP were an “inaccurate description of the situation”.

“The idea is to increase the number of pro-independence seats by taking them from the unionist parties, not by taking them from the SNP,” he said.

Though he admitted he was uncomfortable with the direction being taken by Nicola Sturgeon’s party.

He said: “I don’t think it’s a great secret that I, and a lot of other people, are rather uncomfortable with the direction that the SNP is moving in at the moment.

“It seems to have become a stopping Brexit party, rather than a gaining independence party.

“That’s something they haven’t got a mandate for and it’s something that if they were to achieve it, it would nullify the mandate that they do have from the 2016 election to have a second independence referendum.

“However, if they do hold a referendum before 2021, then categorically the Wings party will not happen, that’s the whole point.”

On whether he would run as a candidate for the party, he said: “I haven’t decided that yet.

“As I say, this whole thing is just a thought at the moment but I’d imagine it’s fairly likely.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Greens said: “It was uncharacteristically generous of Stuart Campbell to describe the Scottish Greens as ‘too radical’ for his fans. After all, this is the blogger who thinks Scotland is too wee and too poor to lead on climate change.”

He added: “Stuart Campbell may be too conservative for radicalism but that doesn’t mean voters are.”

Asked about Campbell’s chances, John Curtice told The National: “As with all gaming of the system it’s not without its risks. You could end up splitting the nationalist vote and leave things not any better off."