An Ayr East councillor has defected from the SNP to the Alba Party.

South Ayrshire Council councillor Chris Cullen, who was elected in 2017 and re-elected in May 2022, said the SNP had "failed to deliver on independence".

Cllr Cullen is the first Alba Party member to sit as a councillor locally. 

He said after hearing Ash Regan's speech at the Alba conference - who recently also defected to the Alba party - he was filled with "renewed optimism for the future of Scotland" and decided to make the move himself.

He also accused the SNP of having "strung along" members.

Cllr Cullen said: "I listened to Alex Salmond at the Alba Party conference extend the hand of friendship to those who only now are facing the dawning realisation that they have been strung along by the SNP who have failed to deliver on independence.

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"I was then completely blown away by Ash Regan’s decision to join Alba Party as she was someone that I already respected for her principled stance over the discredited Gender Recognition Reforms."

Mr Cullen added: "However, when she said in her speech that now hope returns to the Scottish Independence movement I was filled with renewed optimism for the future of Scotland for the first time in a long while.

"I knew then that there was only one action I could take, so I’m proud to announce today that I am now an Alba Party councillor on South Ayrshire Council.”

 The administration for South Ayrshire Council is a Conservative minority.

Before Cllr Cullen's defection there were 11 Conservative councillors, eight SNP, five Labour, and four Independent.