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Sturgeon urged to announce plans for second independence referendum

Tommy Sheridan urged Nicola Sturgeon to announce plans for a second independence referendum (Andrew Milligan/PA) Photo: PA Archive/PA Images

Campaigners have called on Nicola Sturgeon to announce plans next month for a second independence referendum.

Several hundred people, many waving saltires, attended the This Time It’s Yes rally at George Square organised by Hope Over Fear, compered by former MSP Tommy Sheridan.

The politician, who was jailed for perjury in 2011, told the crowd he wanted the First Minister to use her mandate for a second independence referendum.

“In 2016 the Scottish Parliament elections were held and the SNP were quite clear, they sought a mandate for Indyref2 and they won it,” he said.

“The Scottish Parliament voted to hold Indyref2 in September 2018 or March 2019.”

He added: “We can go in March next year. Please Nicola, sound the bell. Fire the starting pistol.

“Please Nicola Sturgeon, you’ve done a good job so far, put yourself at the head of this campaign … and on the 7th of October in Glasgow’s SECC please stand up and ignite the passion across Scotland by announcing loud and clear we’re going to use the mandate.”

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Other speakers at the event included Western Isles SNP MP Angus MacNeil and former Scottish cabinet minister Alex Neil.

Mr Neil said: “The time has come for us to go out and evangelise how much better life would be if we make our parliament an independent parliament.”

He said a “very minimum of 55%” of independence supporters was needed to ensure winning the second referendum.

“I pledge myself, and I hope everyone here pledges themselves, to do everything we need to do in the next month and the next few years, to get Indyref2 and to win Indyref2.”

Campaigners had planned to show the film Braveheart at the start of the rally but the screening did not go ahead.

Independence campaign group Saor Alba organised a march to the event and the group’s George Kempik said the turnout at the rally had been “disapointing”, but vowed they would continue.

He said: “I have children and grandchildren, and for me this is about them. I’ve been fighting for independence since the original referendum for devolution in Scotland in 1979 and nothing I’ve seen then has ever changed my mind.

“The rallies are just a reminder to everybody. They’ve got to keep happening.”

Charles Archibald, 42, from Stirling, attended the rally with his family to show his support for the independence movement.

He said: “It’s not going to go away, it’s never going to go away.”