Alex Salmond to appear at Scottish independence rally in Edinburgh
Alex Salmond will be among the speakers at a major gathering of independence supporters taking place in Edinburgh next month.
The former SNP leader will join more than a thousand pro-Yes campaigners at the revamped Scottish Independence Convention (SIC), which takes place at the Usher Hall on November 4.
Mr Salmond will join Scottish Greens co-convener Maggie Chapman, social security minister Jeane Freeman and Scotsman columnist Lesley Riddoch at the event, which aims to “build bridges to independence”.
Organisers said it would “outline practical steps that we can take to build bridges between ourselves and those who are not yet supporters of independence”.
Among the subjects up for debate will be a voter survey commissioned by the SIC and undertaken by Dr Iain Black of Heriot-Watt University.
The SIC was established in 2005 but became dormant following the launch of the cross-party Yes Scotland campaign ahead of the 2014 referendum.
Following the No vote, the SIC was relaunched in 2016 with the aim of building consensus ahead of a potential IndyRef2.
More than 1,000 tickets - at £15 a head - have been sold for the rally next month, organisers said.
Poet Alan Bissett and musician Eddi Reader will also perform at the Edinburgh concert hall.
“We believe it is important that we offer activities, advice, research and a forum for discussion for the Yes movement” an SIC spokesman said in July.
“To do that we must build broad consensus across the movement including the pro-independence parties before we make any of our plans public.”
Nicola Sturgeon shelved any immediate plans for a second referendum in the summer after her part lost 21 MPs at the snap general election, including Mr Salmond and Westminster leader Angus Roberson.
The First Minister said the Scottish Government would “reset” its plan for indyref2 and would not introduce her Referendum Bill “immediately” after the vote on June 6.
Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman Adam Tomkins said: “It won’t go unnoticed that Alex Salmond couldn’t be bothered with the SNP conference, but wants to be the main event at this convention.
“It seems after his defeat in 2014 he just can’t let it go.
“Even losing his Westminster seat hasn’t awoken him to the fact the people of Scotland don’t want another referendum.
“Instead, Nicola Sturgeon and the SNP should be taking it off the table completely.”