ALEX Salmond has defended a new Alba Party election advert after it was branded "pathetic" and "embarrassing". 

The video features a voiceover by Scottish actor Angus MacFadyen, who played Robert the Bruce in Mel Gibson's 1995 classic Braveheart. 

Reprising his role, Mr MacFadyen insists Alba will "unite the clans". 

But the clip has been ridiculed on social media, with SNP MP Pete Wishart tweeting: "Geez! We're trying to win our independence through presenting ourselves as a progressive, modern and outward-looking nation.

"But let's take up the rusty claymores and shout 'freeedom'. Embarrassing."

READ MORE: Salmond warns those who abuse his female Alba candidates 'will be faced down'

HeraldScotland: A screenshot from Alba's advertA screenshot from Alba's advert

Pamela Nash, chief executive of pro-UK campaign group Scotland in Union, said: "I first thought the Alba ad was a spoof, but sadly this is no joke.

"The nationalist mask has slipped; Salmond is making it clear that for him and his colleagues this election is a battle between Scotland and England. 

"Their campaign is 700 years out of date.

"They talk of uniting Scots against ‘English suppressors’ which voters will find pathetic and divisive.

"What we need more than ever before is to nurture unity across the UK and find solutions together to recover from the Covid crisis.”

Announcing his support for Alba, Mr Macfadyen said: “I see the emergence of Alba as an underdog upsetting the established parties and making possible an overwhelming victory for independence at the polls. 

"This depiction is ever so slightly tongue in cheek but still makes a very serious point. 

"It is the 'sma folk' or people power who hold the key to Scotland’s future. That was fact in 1314. It is true in 2021.”

In the advert, which features images of pro-independence campaigners, Mr MacFadyen's voiceover states: "In the year of our Lord 1314, facing yet another defeat, King Robert ordered the camp followers to Gillies Hill where they raised their homemade banners and surged forth as a fresh Scottish army. 

READ MORE: Election 2021: Why is Alex Salmond's Alba Party polling poorly?

"And this demonstration of people power by the sma folk of Scotland was the straw which broke the spine of English superiority.

"And their prime commander Edward Plantagenet fled south. I know. I was there. I am the Bruce. 

"And here and now people power will prevail again. Alba will unite the clans."

Responding to criticisms of the advert, Mr Salmond said: "Every member of the Tartan Army or rugby enthusiast views Scotland's victory at Bannockburn as a source of national pride. 

"These attacks from our opponents on our campaign video show scant regard for the history of Scotland. 

"People who decry a nation's history will never address a nation's future.

"If 'Scotland in the Union' had been around in the early fourteenth century they would have been advocating victory for the Plantagenets.

"Our video featuring one of Scotland's finest actors and directors, Angus MacFadyen, who has himself played Robert the Bruce, twice, is a timely reminder that while his depiction is ever so slightly tongue in cheek it still makes a very serious point.

"As Angus has himself said: 'It is the 'sma folk' or people power who hold the key to Scotland’s future. That was fact in 1314. It is true in 2021.'

"By giving their list vote to Alba to achieve an independence supermajority it is the people of Scotland who can once again win our freedom and send Boris Johnson as the new 'Hammer of the Scots' homewards to think again.”