A BREXITEER has been unveiled as the latest defector to Alex Salmond’s Alba Party. 

Brian Topping, who has been an SNP councillor in Aberdeenshire for 37 years, will stand as a candidate for Holyrood on the North East regional list.

The move comes just hours ahead of Nicola Sturgeon appearing in the first of the televised leaders’ debate of the election campaign.

The SNP has now suffered the loss of two MSPs, two national office bearers, and councillors in five local authorities to Alba since Friday.

One of the SNP’s longest serving councillors, Mr Topping said the launch of Alba last week had “reinvigorated” the Nationalist movement.

He also accused the SNP leadership of having “disgraced themselves with their tawdry comments over the last few days”, reference to criticism of Alba and its defectors.

Cllr Topping is currently convenor of Aberdeenshire licensing board and chair of Fraserburgh regeneration development partnership.  

In 2016, he broke with the SNP to announce he was supporting Brexit, claiming that the UK joining the EU in the 1970s had devastated the fishing industry.

He said then: “I want Scotland to be in charge of its own destiny, and I cannot see how we can do that and, at the same time, be in Europe and have unelected people making policies that we may or may not agree with.” 

READ MORE: Alba MP admits an Independence 'supermajority' would not reflect voters' wishes

Mr Salmond, 66, launched Alba last week with the goal of standing at least four candidates on each of the eight Holyrood regional lists in May.

The former first minister said Alba could pick up votes that would otherwise be "wasted" on the SNP under the parliament's proportional system, and so create a "supermajority for independence", with up to 90 of Holyrood's 129 MSPs elected on a Yes ticket.

However one of Alba's own MPs, Neale Hanvey, today admitted that a supermajority wouldn't reflect the wishes of the electorate, only the Holyrood voting system.

In an interview with the Daily Record today, Nicola Sturgeon was also scathing about the supermajority plan.

She said: "At the end of the day, we’ve got to win independence fair and square. We can’t game, or cheat, our way to that.”

Meanwhile, one of Alba's other recruits, fboxing champion Alex Arthur, has been forced to apologise over social media posts mocking Romanian beggars as fat "pigs".

He also said he didn't need to take the Covid vaccine as he had a "perfectly good immune system".

Cllr Topping said: “I am honoured to have been asked to stand for ALBA and will be proud to stand with Alex Salmond in the forthcoming contest.

“Many of us in the national movement are feeling reinvigorated over the last few days with more discussion about independence than there has been for years. 

“It is like the best days of the YES campaign of 2014.

People are beginning to realise that list votes for the SNP are wasted with up to a million votes cast for no return in MSPs. 

“If these votes come to Alba we have the opportunity to create a supermajority in the next Scottish Parliament.

“I will be urging my constituents to cast both votes YES - the constituency vote for SNP but the regional list vote for Alba.

“I have written to my local branch and to the SNP centrally to explain my decision. However, having canvassed opinion locally I am doing what so many other people are thinking."

READ MORE: Alex Arthur apologises over anti-vax tweets and posts mocking homeless

He went on: “Although I have many friends in the local SNP the national leadership have disgraced themselves with their tawdry comments over the last few days."

“In contrast in Alba we have been given one primary directive. 

“Everything we say and do is to further the cause of Scottish independence and our campaign will be entirely positive locally and nationally”.