SCOTLAND’s new independence party has said its MSPs would be compelled to prop up a failing SNP government.

The Alliance for Independence umbrella group, which plans to stand candidates on the eight regional Holyrood lists in 2021, sets out the plan in its official party constitution.

The document, formally approved by the AFI’s steering group in May, but only released this week, said the group would “support a pro-independence Scottish Government” to deliver a second referendum, independence itself and independence negotiations.

It added: “All Alliance candidates and MSPs will be bound to keep a pro-independence Scottish Government in power to enable it to deliver these objectives."

In practice, only the SNP is currently capable of forming a pro-independence government, and keeping a minority administration it in power would mean backing its budget and helping it survive any confidence votes. 

The AFI constitution said its MSPs would otherwise be free to "promote, supportm argue for and vote for their own party programme or individual programme," however this could conflict with backing an SNP budget.

The AFI constitution said the group would “strive to broadly represent all of the Yes movement”; it did not say it would try to represent the people of Scotland as a whole. 

The AFI is led by former SNP MSP Dave Thompson and has former SNP Glasgow councillor Austin Sheridan as another official, but denies being an SNP faction.

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie this week wrote to the Electoral Commission after the AFI applied to register with it as a party, urging the watchdog to investigate it.

Mr Rennie claimed the AFI was an SNP faction that wanted to “game” the electoral system.

The new group, which has been backed by Tommy Sheridan’s Solidarity party, says its plan is to pick up Nationalist votes on the list that would otherwise be “wasted” if they went to the SNP in order to maximise the number of Yes MSPs at Holyrood next year.

However the SNP has refused to withdraw from the list, teeing up a possible split in the Nationalist vote.

The AFI is due to hold its first conference in September. 

Mr Thompson has said it will debate whether to keep Indyref2 as an objective, or change to a more direct route, such as regarding an election win as the trigger for independence.

The Constitution also says the AFI might change its name at the conference.

The first clause of the document states: “Note: Name to be ratified at Conference”. 

Mr Rennie: “Any proposal to game this election and manipulate how people vote is extremely concerning. If a wing of the SNP is setting out to prop it up under a different name they are clearly trying to cheat the voters.  

“It would be wrong for the SNP, in whatever guise, was to get more MSPs than the wishes of the voters. 

“I am sure the Electoral Commission will be interested in the contents of the Alliance’s constitution."

The AFI has dismissed Mr Rennie’s claim it is an SNP faction as “nonsense”.