The Alba Party was formed on the 8th February 2021 but came to prominence on the 26th March 2021 when it was announced that former SNP Leader and First Minister, Alex Salmond, would become leader of the party. The pro-independence party announced that it would be putting forward candidates in the upcoming Scottish Parliament Elections.
Alex Salmond has a long history in Scottish Politics. He became an SNP MP in 1987 and then became leader of the SNP from 1990 until the year 2000. In 1999 he was elected to the newly founded Scottish Parliament and he again became leader of the SNP between 2004 and 2014. In 2007, Salmond became the First Minister of Scotland and he held this position until 2014. He successfully lobbied the British government to hold the Scottish Independence Referendum in which he led the ‘Yes’ campaign. In this referendum the ‘No’ side won by 55% to 45%. Finally, in 2015 he returned to House of Commons as an SNP MP before losing his seat in 2017. As First Minister he was a mentor to Nicola Sturgeon, who was seen to be his political protege.
It has been a febrile Summer in the Conservative Party. Whilst Members of Parliament were on their Summer Holidays, it was clear that speculation over Theresa May’s future would not abate. In recent weeks, it has been suggested that a challenge to Theresa May’s leadership of the party, and therefore her position as Prime Minister, is imminent.
Theresa May became Prime Minister at an extremely difficult time. Arguably, only Winston Churchill became Prime Minister in more challenging circumstances. On 10th May 1940, the day that Churchill first became Prime Minister, he awoke to news that Germany had launched its invasion of France. Even Brexit cannot compare to that!
The week before last week Theresa May faced perhaps her most difficult moment as Prime Minister as her plan for Brexit, the Chequers Plan, was rejected by EU Leaders during a meeting in Salzburg. Time is running out in the Brexit negotiations, with a no-deal scenario seemingly more likely every day. So, given the Conservative Party Conference takes place this week, what happened in Austria and what is next for Theresa May?
In May 1994 the leader of the Labour Party, John Smith, died suddenly. He had only been Party Leader since July 1992 and his death came as a major shock to the whole nation.
Labour Leader Jim Smith died in May 1994.
In the Leadership Election that followed, Tony Blair became Party Leader, with 57% of the overall vote. This was a defining moment in the history of the Labour Party. Alongside Gordon Brown (later Chancellor of the Exchequer), Peter Mandelson (later a Cabinet Member) and Alistair Campbell (later Communications Director) the ‘New Labour’ movement began to take shape.