Nicola Sturgeon has said that there are "significant questions about the appropriateness" of Alex Salmond's return to Scottish politics

It comes as Scotland’s former first minister Alex Salmond announced yesterday his bid to return to Holyrood, as the leader of the new pro-independence Alba Party.

Commenting on the move outside of the SSE Hydro in Glasgow, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon told Heart Scotland News: "I take no pleasure in saying this, I think there are significant questions about the appropriateness of his return to public office given some of the concerns have been raised about his conduct, but that is a matter for voters to judge and decide. 

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

“This is an election after all we live in a democracy  

“For my part, I am focussed on the interests of the country. This is a serious election in very serious times for the country, it is not a game. We need to make sure that the choices at this election are the right ones for the country. 

“What I am offering is the experienced leadership to get us through this crisis. We are not out of it yet and we can’t take our eye off that ball.

“Then the SNP are offering a policy programme to kick start recovery and then of course, when we are out of the crisis, the chance to choose independence so we can shape the future of Scotland.

“If people want that then they have to vote SNP to get that.

“Elections are not games, they are not an opportunity to gamble with the country's future particularly not in times as serious as these."

READ MORE: Alex Salmond ducks questions over past ‘inappropriate’ behaviour with women

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.

He insisted on Friday that after the series of court cases and inquiries, it is now “time to move on”.

“I have wanted to talk about the future of Scotland for the last three years. Now I have got the opportunity thanks to the Alba Party,” he said.

READ MORE: Alex Salmond: Alba stands as a party to boost pro-independence MSPs - but it may cost SNP majority

“That’s what I intend to do, and I intend to do it in an entirely positive way.”

He said the party has been set up to win seats using Holyrood’s regional lists.