Alex Salmond has backed Nicola Sturgeon as the best person to be First Minister of Scotland after the forthcoming Holyrood elections.

The former SNP leader made the claim after launching the pro-Scottish independence Alba Party, which will only contest regional list seats.

It comes after Nicola Sturgeon yesterday said there were “significant questions” over Salmond’s return to public office after the launch of his new Alba Party.

READ MORE: Alba Party: Nicola Sturgeon comments on Alex Salmond's return to Scottish politics

He told the Sunday Mail: “I’m sure she will be First Minister after the election and I am advising people to vote SNP in the constituency ballot.

“They can fight their campaign and we will fight ours – and our campaign will be unremittingly positive.

“I believe that she should be the First Minister because the SNP should win a handsome majority.

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

“She is the only viable independence candidate and therefore she is the best one.

“I have no ambition to be in government. I am not standing to be First Minister, I am standing for the Alba Party on the list to build an independence super-majority.”

He added: “I am asking people to give their second list vote to Alba so that over one million independence votes are not wasted.”

The Alba Party will only be fielding candidates in the regional lists in an attempt to boost separatist numbers in Holyrood.

First Minister Sturgeon told Scotland on Sunday: “There are some people, and they do tend to be men, whose egos don’t allow them to exit the stage when the time is right for the sake of other people and, I would argue, for his own dignity,”

“The good thing about (Mr Salmond) now having his own party is I don’t have to spend much time talking about him or thinking about him anymore.”

She added that she would have stood down if the result of the Hamilton Inquiry had been different.

“I would have tendered my resignation because I have always believed that the office of First Minister is bigger than any individual, and I would not have dragged the office of First Minister through the mud.”

READ MORE: Neale Hanvey MP quits SNP to join Alex Salmond's Alba Party

Today it was announced that Neale Hanvey MP and Lynn Anderson, the Nationalists’ equalities convener joined the Alba Party from the SNP.