Action for Independence has agreed to stand down its candidates for the Scottish Parliament election after the launch of the Alba Party by Alex Salmond on Friday.

The pro-independence party, initially formed under the name Alliance for Independence last summer, confirmed the move in a bid to put “Scotland before Party”.

The group announced the decision 12 hours after former First Minister Alex Salmond launched the Alba Party, which will see 42 list candidates on the ballot for the May 6 vote.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond: What is the Alba Party and who are its candidates?

Mr Salmond launched the Alba Party in an online event on Friday afternoon and said he will be standing on the North East regional list section in the election.

A statement from the group late on Friday night said: “The National Executive of Action for Independence (AFI) has agreed to stand down its 42 candidates in the forthcoming election on the 6th May following the launch of Alex Salmond’s ‘list only’ Alba party today.

“AFI is gratified that its concept of Max the Yes and the building of a supermajority of independence supporting MSPs has been taken up by such a highly credible party with such influential leadership.

READ MORE: 2021 Scottish Election: What is the voting process? Everything you need to know

“The Alba Party is to all intents and purposes ‘AFI 2’ and we note that the ideas, slogans and Max the Yes concept it employs were all spawned by AFI.

“AFI’s members were right in pursuing the Max the Yes concept and they should all be proud of the part they have played in paving the way for an independence supermajority.

READ MORE: Alba Party: Herald Voices react to Alex Salmond's party

“AFI thanks all of our members, candidates and branches for the amazing work they have done in bringing the Max the Yes concept to the fore in Scottish politics and looks forward to an overwhelming pro-independence majority on the 6th of May.

“AFI’s aim has always been to unite the Yes family on the regional lists and we are confident that the Alba Party, with the help of AFI’s members, will succeed in doing that.”