SCOTLAND’S new independence party has been forced to change its name after falling foul of election watchdogs.

The Alliance for Independence, launched by former SNP MSP Dave Thompson in July, now intends to calls itself Action for Independence.

It follows the Electoral Commission objecting to the Alliance label in case it misled voters by exaggerating the extent of its support among other pro-independence parties.

The AFI has now asked the watchdog to register it under the new name.

The AFI’s aim is to stand candidates on the Holyrood list system in next May’s election to “Max the Yes” and help get a second referendum.

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However the SNP and Scottish Greens have refused to withdraw from the list to help it, and the only party to sign up to the umbrella group so far is Tommy Sheridan’s Solidarity.

Mr Thompson said the AFI remained convinced its original name was fair, but lacked the money and time to challenge the Commission in court.

He said: “We actually thought Alliance was self-explanatory, but the Electoral Commission didn’t share that view.

“We have no reason to think they’ll object to Action for Independence and, while we were disappointed with their first decision, we had to propose a new name in order to get us registered to stand in the Holyrood poll next year.

“I think Action for Independence is a good choice as ‘action’ is a dynamic word and action for independence is something that many YES supporters desperately want to see.”

“That is something we will give them with our Max The Yes strategy – by backing a vote for the SNP in every constituency, and then a vote for AFI on the regional list - which could result in an unassailable supermajority of pro-independence MSPs at Holyrood.”

Mr Thompson said AFI members were keen to embark on the campaign trail and, while they were buoyed by Solidarity coming on board, they had also had enquires from other parties and individuals about becoming part of their umbrella group.

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“It’s early days to say too much, but there are things happening behind the scenes which will help secure our position in next year’s Holyrood campaign.”

“Let’s just say that this coming month could be one of the most important for AFI since it was founded.”

Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “Whatever name this group ends up choosing, Scots should be in no doubt: every nationalist candidate on the ballot paper next May is standing to prioritise division ahead of what really matters to people - jobs, the NHS and education.”