The MP Kenny MacAskill has announced he is quitting the SNP to stand for Alex Salmond’s new party at the Holyrood election.
The former Scottish justice secretary said the Alba Party, that launched on Friday, would help achieve independence.
The SNP have called for a by-election in response, and described his departure as “somewhat of a relief”.
Mr MacAskill is the most high-profile SNP name to defect to the new party.
He is now the Alba Party’s first MP at Westminster and said he would be forming an Alba Party group there. He said the membership of Alba was “going through the roof”.
Mr MacAskill told the BBC News Channel: “The gamble isn’t going for an independent supermajority, the gamble is remaining in a United Kingdom led by Boris Johnson enforcing austerity and making the world a riskier place.
“This is a chance to deliver the right for Scotland to decide its own future and to reject the right of Boris Johnson to veto Scotland’s right to choose.”
He said he would continue to serve in East Lothian.
News Source: BBC News