Alex Salmond has said his Alba Party will contest next year’s local government elections in Scotland.
While Alba failed to win any MSPs in the Scottish Parliament election last week, it does have a number of councillors across the country.
Some SNP councillors defected to join the former first minister’s new party after it launched its campaign in March. Alba has three councillors in Aberdeenshire.
The two MPs who joined Alba, Kenny MacAskill and Neale Hanvey, represent the party at Westminster but say they will only attend the Commons when “it affords an opportunity to promote Scottish interests”.
Salmond said: “Having established ourselves, it’s now time for Alba to grow.
“There is a mandate for independence and we must see that mandate exercised.
“Our objective, because we are not an ordinary political party, is to help secure the independence of our country.
“Alba has a role, it has a significance, and that role will develop, grow and bloom over the next few years. Alba is rising.”
North Lanarkshire Alba councillor Lynne Anderson said: “Alba is here to stay.
“Our membership continues to grow because of the urgency in which we believe the case for independence should be progressed to ensure that Scotland’s recovery from coronavirus is in Scotland’s hands.
“Local communities will suffer by allowing Westminster to stay in charge of Scotland’s recovery.
“Alba has ambitious and radical plans to reduce poverty in Scotland and at next year’s local elections we will make the case for them in communities the length and breadth of Scotland.”
Alba received 1.7% of the vote across Scotland when all ballots for the Holyrood election were counted at the weekend.
Salmond has previously insisted Alba had been “vindicated” in its strategy of encouraging voters to support his party on the regional ballot, saying SNP votes are “wasted” on the list.