A NEW political party has been launched to challenge the Scottish Government's renewable energy policy and stop the spread of wind farms.

The founding members of the Alliance Party of Scotland plan to field candidates in the 2016 Scottish Parliament elections against politicians associated with the growth of wind farms.

First Minister Alex Salmond's Aberdeenshire East seat and Energy Minister Fergus Ewing's Inverness and Nairn constituency are likely targets.

However, American tycoon Donald Trump, who has spoken out against proposed wind farms near his Aberdeenshire golf course, will not be involved.

At the party's launch in Inverness it argued voters had been disenfranchised on the issue of green power. It said Scottish and UK energy policies were causing misery for thousands through fuel poverty.

And it said higher energy bills were being used to fund a costly obsession with wind farms.

Inverness-based engineer Richard Crawford, the party leader, said it drew together a broad spread of people who shared a concern about green energy.

He said the party would fight for a moratorium on wind farms, pending an independent commission on renewable energy. Meanwhile, he said, Government action should have energy saving as its focus.

He said: Currently over 40% of households are struggling to pay their energy bills. That can't be right. We want to stop the destructive energy policy that is ruining Scotland and will destroy tourism."

A Scottish Government spokesman said: "We aim to become a global leader in developing solutions to the challenge of climate change subject to a planning process which is inclusive and transparent."