Tommy Sheridan’s Solidarity joins new Alliance for Independence group

A socialist party founded by convicted perjurer Tommy Sheridan has joined a new pro-independence alliance.

Solidarity has signed up to a fledgling umbrella group whose electoral motto is “max the yes”.

As revealed by the Daily Record, the “Alliance for Independence” (AFI) is intending to stand List candidates at next year’s Holyrood election.

Supporters of the plan believe the SNP will clean up in the constituencies and barely win any regional List seats at all.

On this basis, they want supporters of independence to give their second vote to the Alliance, which they see as a collection of pro-indy parties, group and individuals.

In a press release, the AFI have announced that Solidarity is the first party to join.

Founded in 2007, Solidarity emerged from a split inside the left-wing Scottish Socialist Party.

Sheridan, who was jailed for perjury in 2011, is the most high profile individual associated with Solidarity.

On its own, the party has flopped at successive Holyrood elections, winning 0.6% of the vote in 2016 and 0.1% in 2011 on the Lists.

Interim AFI leader Dave Thompson, who was an SNP MSP, said: “We are delighted that Solidarity has decided to fight next year’s Holyrood election under our banner. It is great that Solidarity realise the potential of all of the smaller pro-indy parties coming together to ‘Max the Yes’ in next year’s Holyrood election to build a supermajority for independence.

“We hope that this will encourage the other smaller pro-indy parties to seriously consider the option of now uniting with AFI and Solidarity to create an unstoppable force for independence at next year’s election.

“Solidarity will now have a seat on the Steering Group of AFI, working with us as we develop our campaign over the next few months, and this will also be offered to any other smaller parties who come on board.”

Asked if Sheridan had been part of the negotiations between the AFI and Solidarity, Thompson said: “Yes, he was.”

In a statement, Solidarity said: “Uniting the pro-independence second vote in those elections is imperative. In 2016 almost one million second votes for the SNP were not just wasted votes but actually assisted unionists to get elected. Despite attracting over 953,000 second Regional List votes the SNP failed to secure a single list seat in six of the eight regional list areas.

“In these special circumstances Solidarity agrees to join the Alliance for Independence project to unite as many of the smaller independence parties as possible.”

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