THE Alba Party conference appears to have been based on the headline-grabbing announcement of Ash Regan’s defection from the SNP to Alba.

What was so critical about the timing of this announcement that it could not have been postponed to allow Alba to concentrate on the international humanitarian crisis in the Middle East? The lead story from the conference should have been on its debate on the deteriorating situation and horrific death toll of people in Israel and Gaza, brought home to us by the personal connection with the First Minister’s family.

READ MORE: Angus MacNeil to work with Alba in Westminster

That could have been followed by details of how Alba is going to expedite Scottish independence in order to let our distinctive voice be heard on this and other international matters.

The timing of the announcement of Ash Regan’s defection from the SNP to Alba is a self-imposed distraction on any significant news reports from the Alba conference.

Alba have missed a great opportunity to demonstrate that their appeals for those in the independence movement to put people before party in unity for a common cause are more than soundbites.

John Jamieson
South Queensferry