Alex Salmond has claimed that voters “want a party that puts independence first and foremost”.
The former first minister, who stood unopposed and was confirmed as the leader of the Alba Party at its inaugural conference in Greenock on Saturday, told the PA news agency it had become a “real political party” that could become a force for independence.
But the party struggled at this year’s Holyrood elections, failing to win a single seat.
Mr Salmond said: “People want a party which puts independence first and foremost, which sees independence not as something for the hereafter, but for the here and now.
“Alba is that party, we’re fulfilling that desire in Scottish society and the strength of our delegates and membership indicates we’re on the right road.”
Mr Salmond continued: “Alba has been around for five or six months, but you’re not really a party until you’ve had your conference.
“Up until today, I was the only nominated official in the whole party.”
MP Kenny MacAskill – who was one of the most high-profile figures to leave the SNP and move over to Alba when it was launched in March – was elected as the party’s depute leader on Saturday, defeating Glasgow councillor Michelle Ferns by 827 to 323.
“The delegates who have packed into the hall, they have elected their chosen people to get on to the executive and to drive the party forward.
“Alba, as of this weekend, becomes a real political party and a potential real force for independence.”
Another high-profile defection, Chris McEleny, was also confirmed as the party’s new general secretary – a post he has also held on an interim basis.
Enjoy the convenience of having The Sunday Post delivered as a digital ePaper straight to your smartphone, tablet or computer.
Subscribe for only £5.49 a month and enjoy all the benefits of the printed paper as a digital replica.Subscribe