ALBA call on Starmer to back independence powers for Scottish Parliament
The “litmus test on whether Starmer’s Labour is in reality Tory blue”
Former First Minister of Scotland and Alba Party leader Alex Salmond has called on Labour leader Keir Starmer to back Ash Regan MSP’s Bill for a referendum on the powers of the Scottish Parliament.
Alba Party agreed to make the demand of Starmer at a meeting of its National Executive Committee held today (Sunday).
Salmond says his pro-independence party’s drive for the Scottish Parliament to hold a referendum on whether it should have the powers to negotiate and legislate for independence is supported by a majority of Scots.
Alba Party’s Holyrood leader Ash Regan MSP has put forward a plan that would see the Scottish Parliament hold a referendum on its powers in response to the UK Supreme Court’s decision that it did not have the competence to hold a second Scottish independence referendum. This combined with treating national elections as providing a mandate for independence offers a democratic route forward for Scotland.
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer and his Deputy leader Angela Rayner spent the weekend in Scotland attempting to woo independence supporters ahead of this year’s General election.
However, former First Minister Alex Salmond said that “Starmer came North but didn’t offer a single word of comfort to the independence movement that would justify anyone in Scotland lending their vote back to the Labour Party.”
Salmond’s pro-independence Alba Party has now called on Starmer to confirm if he would back the Scottish Parliament holding a referendum on it having independence powers.
Alba says that Starmer’s answer will make it clear that his Labour Party will be no more likely to recognise Scotland’s right to self-determination than the Tories if he refuses to back the plan.
Commenting former First Minister and Alba Party leader Alex Salmond said:
“Sir Keir Starmer thinks he can sweep up votes in Scotland without offering anything to the independence movement purely because the SNP are in decline. Alba Party are now calling on Starmer to back the Scottish Parliament holding a referendum on whether or not it should have the powers to legislate for independence. It will be a litmus test of whether Starmer’s attitude to Scotland is in fact Tory blue.
“Of course, whether he backs the plan or not will not stop the Scottish Parliament proceeding to hold such a referendum- but his answer will leave Scots in no doubt as to whether a vote for Labour at the General election is a vote for change or if it’s a vote for more of the same from the Westminster parties.
“Alba believes that far from being different from the Tories, Labour under Starmer are identical in their attitude to Scotland’s right of self-determination. They are fundamentally different from Labour under Donald Dewar who signed the Claim of Right on Scotland’s rights as a nation. Under Starmer, the Better Together alliance of Labour and Tory from 2014 continues. If Labour wants to prove us wrong then they need to back Ash Regan’s Bill, an initiative backed by almost 2-1 by the Scottish people.
"Alba Party have charted our way forward for independence, now let’s see if Sir Keir Starmer backs it or proves himself to be no different from the Tories in his opposition to the people of Scotland choosing their own future.
"Now that the SNP have rejected working with other pro-independence parties at the General Election, Alba will be fielding candidates calling for an election mandate for independence and backing Ash Regan MSP’s Bill for a referendum on the powers of the Parliament to include independence.
"It is these initiatives, overwhelmingly supported by the people of Scotland, which can take Scotland’s future back into Scotland’s hands and will be the ALBA independence strategy right through to the Scottish elections in 2026.”