Alex Salmond’s Alba Party has welcomed its 6,000th member as the party demands IndyRef2 planning is sped up.
Long-standing SNP member Moira Brown became the 6,000th person to sign up for Alba – saying she wanted faster progress to Scottish independence.
Salmond presented Moira with a Scotland football strip numbered 6,000 as he made a surprise visit to her home to welcome her to the party.
Alba’s inaugural party conference will be held at Greenock town hall on September 11 and 12.
The former first minister launched the party earlier this year, with Alba candidates running for list seats in the Scottish Parliament elections.
It failed to win any MSPs, but it has two MPs and a number of councillors around Scotland who left the SNP in order to join.
Salmond said: “Moira Brown, with her 65 years of experience in the SNP, will be a great asset to the burgeoning ranks of Alba.
“We are proud to welcome her as member number 6,000.
“People like Moira are the heart and soul of the independence movement.
“She has seen it grow from a tiny acorn to a mighty oak and now wants to see the realisation of her lifelong political dream.”
Moira, who turns 89 this year, said: “One of the things I liked about the SNP is that it was a party that came from the bottom up, but I can’t say that now.
“I have had my doubts the past few years and it cumulated in me talking and listening to other people and soul-searching about leaving (the SNP).
“Sixty-five years is a long time to belong to a party.”
The former SNP leader only launched the breakaway pro-independence movement in April and succeeded in persuading two MPs and several serving councillors to quit the Nationalists to join him.
Salmond tried to persuade SNP voters to back Nicola Sturgeon in constituencies and lend his new party their support on the list vote in an attempt to create what he termed a pro-independence "supermajority" of MSPs.
However the party only won 1.7% of the vote.