SNP MP claims Alba party of 'non-stop hate' after Salmond attack on 'daft' gender law
SPLITS over Scotland’s new gender laws have set the cause of independence back years, former first minister Alex Salmond has claimed.
In a furious attack on his successor, the ex-SNP leader also dismissed the push for the Gender Recognition Reform as a “daft ideology” and “self-indulgent nonsense.”
However, his former Westminster colleague, Pete Wishart said the only thing harming support for independence was Alba and “its nonstop hate”.
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The criticism from Mr Salmond came during an Alba Burns Supper on Saturday night shortly after a new poll showed a six-point drop in support for independence.
He told party members: “I thought everybody who wanted to see an independent country understood that you must open your heart and your mind to every section of the population.
“To get to a position where you say to a majority of our people, that you cannot have single sex spaces - prized and worked and strived for - because of some daft ideology, imported from elsewhere and, as we've seen, imperfectly understood by its proponents in Scotland, borders on the totally absurd.
“And the six per cent decline in the independence vote over a month, think about that 30 years of gradually building building building building, so we get independence over 50% and then throw it away in some self-indulgent nonsense, which even if it was right, which it isnae, would hardly be practically the most astute manoeuvre when you're meant to be taking Scotland to its next date with destiny.
“So give up self-identification, embrace self-determination is not just a simple slogan. As far the Alba party would do, it's an instruction to the national movement to get back on course, a set of sights back on the prize.”
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The poll for the Sunday Times suggested that support for the SNP, independence and Nicola Sturgeon had all fallen in the wake of the Gender Recognition Reform Bill and the criticism over the handling of trans prisoners.
The YouGov survey of 1,088 Scottish voters for the Sunday Times shows support for independence fell from 53% to 47% among decided voters.
The fieldwork for the poll was carried out as a row was emerging over the imprisonment of rapist Isla Bryson between January 23 and 26.
The transgender woman, who was known as Adam Graham, was initially remanded in Scotland's only all-female prison in Cornton Vale.
Bryson was later relocated to the male estate following a public outcry.
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Mr Salmond’s Alba was formed ahead of the 2021 Holyrood election following his with Ms Sturgeon over the Scottish Government’s botched handling of harassment complaints made against him.
The new party saw a number of defections from SNP members critical of the Scottish Government’s push for a “self-id” process of obtaining a gender recognition certificate.
However, the party has had little success in the two electoral contests since its foundation.
Responding to Mr Salmond’s speech, the SNP’s Pete Wishart tweeted: “The one thing that is ‘harming’ Scottish independence is this party and its nonstop hate. They may be only on 0.4% and totally rejected by the Scottish people but their capacity for harm to our cause is incalculable.”