ALBA have confirmed speakers for two upcoming independence rallies amid a continuing row with Believe in Scotland (BiS) over speaking at its Glasgow event this weekend.

It comes as the party argue that they were blocked from addressing the event because the Scottish Greens won't "share a platform" with them – while organisers say Alba were simply too late to respond to their invitation.

In response to Joanna Cherry MP sharing an article on the row on social media, Alba party chair Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh said the party would be speaking at a number of future independence events.

She also hit back at BiS's reasoning for Alba's exclusion from the event.

Furthermore, Ahmed-Sheikh said the party's candidates for the General Election will be announced from next week onwards.

BiS’s march and rally is due to take place on April 20 with the full line-up confirmed last week.

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Speakers include First Minister Humza Yousaf and Green MSP Ross Greer with no speaker from Alba present.

In a Facebook comment, Believe in Scotland said Alba were “the very first organisation” asked to take part in the rally - but failed to respond - to which the party issued a statement claiming this was “inaccurate and misleading”.

The National: Humza Yousaf

Alba have said that they were told that only Ahmed-Sheikh or depute leader Kenny MacAskill would be allowed to address the crowd, to which they did agree but did not respond within 60 days.

BiS has said "there is no one to blame for Alba not being represented at the Believe in Scotland rally other than Alba themselves".

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The latest in the back-and-forth has came from Ahmed-Sheikh, who wrote on Twitter/X that her colleague's Kenny MacAskill MP and former first minister Alex Salmond will be speaking at All Under One Banner's (AUOB) rally on May 4 and Hope Over Fear's 10th anniversary rally on September 14 respectively. 

AUOB also shared that SNP responded to say they would be in touch with a speaker but at the time of writing, no information has been passed on. The Scottish Greens and Scottish Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) have not responded.

Sovereignty, Independence for Scotland and the Scottish Socialist Party have accepted the invitation and confirmed speakers.

The party chair stated: "The truth doesn’t need screeds of typing. Gordon MacIntyre-Kemp invited Alba to Saturday’s march on condition that it was I or Kenny MacAskill who spoke. That required a decision from the Alba NEC [National Executive Committee] on April 6 where we decided to place indy unity first and Kenny accepted.

The National: Alba party meeting in Edinburgh saturday, from left, Neil Hanvey, Ash Regan TAsmina Ahmed-Sheikh, Alex Salmond and Kenny Macaskill.
 Pic Gordon Terris Herald & Times
27/1/24(L-R) Neale Hanvey MP, Ash Regan MSP, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, Alex Salmond, Kenny MacAskill MP

"We were told that since Greens were speaking we were uninvited as they no-platform Alba because of our policy disagreement on women’s rights. GMK says we’ve to accept his invites with alacrity and on his terms despite his no-show at Alba Yes events to which he’s been invited."

She added: "Alba's position is we’ll share a platform with all pro-independence groups and parties, and to that end Kenny MacAskill  has accepted an invite to speak at the AUOB march on May 4 and Alex Salmond will speak at the Hope Over Fear 10th anniversary rally on September 14.

"In Alba Party’s view, the Yes movement should unite behind a policy of seeking a popular mandate to negotiate independence at each and every election. Our candidates, fighting on that straightforward manifesto, will be announced from next week onwards."

A spokesperson for Believe in Scotland responded:

"Believe in Scotland asked Alba to speak before we invited any other party.

"We initially suggested Tasmina to speak. During the initial phone call she was not at all keen for Alba to provide a speaker.

"I suggested if not her then maybe Kenny MacAskill who had previously spoken at one of our events.

"There was no dictating or demanding and in fact we suggested speakers to all parties who agreed to speak - the other three: SNP, Greens and Scottish Socialist party said yes to speaking on the first phone call. 

"Alba only came back to us 61 days later and waited till we announced we had a Green speaker.

"Instead of working with Believe in Scotland, that represents and supports the majority of grassroots Yes Groups, Alba decided to manufacture a grievance.

"Had Alba said yes to speaking they would be on the platform, they clearly didn’t want to.

"Other than that we have nothing to add to our statement other than if any other party had treated our invitation with such contempt we would have said no to them, too".