ASH Regan has brought a former Alba candidate on to her leadership election team.

Kirk Torrance, who was Alex Salmond’s party’s lead candidate on the Highlands and Islands list in the 2021 Holyrood election, is working as a strategist for Regan.

Torrance formerly worked as head of new media for the SNP. The NationBuilder database he introduced helped to deliver the historic majority in 2011 which led to the first independence referendum.

He has advised both Salmond and outgoing First Minister Nicola Sturgeon.

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A spokesperson for Regan said: "Ash Regan’s leadership campaign team includes a number of ‘best in class’ advisors, including campaign strategist Kirk Torrance, who led the SNP in the digital transformation of their renowned campaigning machine.

“Torrance advised former First Ministers Salmond and Sturgeon through the 2014 Scottish independence referendum and during their respective election victories between 2010 and 2016."

It is understood that Torrance is no longer a member of the Alba Party.

Robin McAlpine

On Wednesday, Regan was also photographed alongside Robin McAlpine, the founder and former director of the Common Weal think tank.

McAlpine stepped back from his role at the head of the think tank after writing an article attacking Sturgeon amid a Holyrood probe into the handling of harassment complaints against Salmond.

The National understands that McAlpine is not a part of Regan’s campaign team, but instead met the leadership hopeful as part of her bid to widen the scope of ideas within the SNP.

A spokesperson for Regan said: "Ash has been focused on consulting with members of the SNP the length and breadth of Scotland, especially at this initial stage.

"In addition, Ms Regan has been committed to speaking to a range of voices in civil society – including Common Weal Scotland, which Ms Regan used to work for. This was the basis for her meeting with Robin today and it is worth remembering that Common Weal Scotland has worked with all political parties and has a range of policies."

Commenting on a photograph of Regan with the two men, taken at Holyrood on Wednesday, SNP staffer Rosa Zambonini wrote: “Ash Regan is entitled to be supported by anyone she likes but it’s remarkable that she’s choosing the support of some of the party and Nicola Sturgeons biggest critics. This leadership race isn’t a back door for those who’ve left…”