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Former Highlands MSP quits SNP to join Alba

Mike MacKenzie joins up with Kenny MacAskill

Former SNP MSP for the Highlands and Islands Mike MacKenzie is the latest SNP politician to defect to Alba. 

Mr MacKenzie served as an MSP between 2011 and 2016 and stood as an SNP list candidate in the recent Scottish parliament elections.

He was the senior aide (Parliamentary Liaison Officer) to John Swinney in his role as the Cabinet Secretary for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth from 2012 to 2014.  

Mr MacKenzie also served on a number of the Parliament’s committees including Health and Sport, Infrastructure and Capital Investment and Economy, Energy and Tourism.

This latest defection comes as the party’s claims it is close to recruiting 6,000 members in the 10 weeks since it was launched. 


Speaking about joining Alba, Mr MacKenzie said: I believe it is now the natural home for all those who are committed to  Independence and who want to see concerted action towards achieving it.

“Like other former SNP activists I have looked on in astonishment at the lack of progress made by the Scottish government since achieving its renewed mandate for a referendum at the recent Scottish Election.

“I have been disheartened at the insistence that progress on Independence be kicked into the long grass until after Covid.

“Alba have the people, the ideas and the commitment to take Scotland forward.”

Welcoming Mr MacKenzie to Alba, Kenny MacAskill MP for East Lothian said: “Mike was highly respected and well liked as an MSP across the entire parliament.  His defection is a real boost to Alba and shows that our call to inject urgency into the Independence campaign is resonating across the Yes movement. 

“As a former builder and a former MSP Mike brings business acumen and parliamentary experience both of which will be invaluable as Alba further develops its policy platform going into next year’s council elections.

“Mike’s defection to ALBA is just the latest defection from the SNP ranks but I am certain that it will not be the last.”

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