Neale Hanvey, MP has defected from the SNP to join the newly formed Alba Party according to reports.

The MP for Kirkcaldy and Cowdenbeath will stand as a candidate in the mid-Scotland and Fife seat at the 6 May Scottish parliament election following the move. 

He told Sky News: "Like so many, I have been angered by our powerlessness in the face of Brexit and share the frustration of many who feel the aspirations of the independence movement are being ignored.

READ MORE: Kenny MacAskill leaves the SNP to join Alex Salmond's Alba Party

"The Alba Party provides a tonic for our movement with an unashamedly optimistic vision for Scotland's impending transition to an independent European nation."

He joins Kenny MacAskill in moving from the SNP to Alex Salmond's new party.

SNP National Equalities Convener Cllr Lynne Anderson is also to join the Alba Party. 

In February Hanvey was sacked from the front bench as vaccines spokesman after supporting a crowdfunder campaign launched to sue a fellow SNP MP, Kirsty Blackman, for defamation.

READ MORE: Neale Hanvey sacked from SNP frontbench after backing campaign to sue fellow MP

Scottish Labour campaign co-chair Neil Bibby said: "The defection of the controversial Neale Hanvey to the Alba Party reveals the utter disarray that the SNP is in.

"Scotland deserves so much better than this politics of grudge, personality and ego.

“Neale Hanvey and Kenny MacAskill must both stand down and give their constituents the chance to elect politicians more interested in guaranteeing Scotland's recovery than endlessly refighting yesterday's war.

"It’s all too clear that only Scottish Labour is focused on our national recovery from the pandemic.

"Scottish Labour will relentlessly focus on delivering a national recovery plan so we can build a fairer and stronger Scotland together and on putting the national interest before the nationalist interest."

Mr Hanvey was previously suspended from the SNP after making anti-Semitic comments online and was put through an internal investigation by the Member Conduct committee.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: "Sturgeon and Salmond may now despise each other but they are united by their obsessive determination to rip Scotland out of the United Kingdom.

"All focus should be on the pandemic and our recovery but Sturgeon's SNP and Salmond's ultra-nationalists want this election to be another divisive fight about the constitution.

"That is why I am urging Labour and the Lib Dems to work with the Scottish Conservatives just as we did in 2014.

"With the very real threat of a so-called Nationalist 'super majority', pro-union parties cannot sit on the fence and continuing to do so would be naive in the extreme"

Responding to Neale Hanvey's defection to the Alba party, Scottish Liberal Democrat campaign chair Alistair Carmichael MP said:

"Like paint chipping off an old and decaying wall, Neale Hanvey's defection is the latest episode in the nationalist's bitter, twisted and divided civil war.

"People can reject the old arguments by backing Willie Rennie’s Liberal Democrats. We will put recovery first and focus on jobs, mental health, our NHS, schools and the climate crisis.