THE former Lord Provost of Glasgow, Alex Mosson, has backed a Yes vote in the referendum, saying independence would be "good for democracy".

The Labour stalwart, who was Lord Provost from 1999 to 2003, said next year's vote was not about party politics.

In a statement issued by the pro-independence Yes Scotland campaign, Mr Mosson, 73, said: "The decision we'll be making next September is too important for that.

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"People need to realise that this is not about the SNP, Scottish Labour or any other political party.

"This referendum is all about us, the people of Scotland, and our right to self-determination. Once we achieve independence I'm sure people will start to regain their interest and engagement in politics, and that will be a good thing for democracy.

"But first we need to find our self-confidence and become a successful, more prosperous and fairer nation."

He added: "I am totally convinced that only a Yes vote will get us to that point."

Mr Mosson is an ex-shipyard worker who entered local government in 1984.

He said recent job cuts announced by BAE on the Clyde had strengthened his view.

"The industry has for years been far too reliant on Admiralty contracts for warships," he said.

"What we need to do is diversify and build a range of craft like cruise liners, ferries and offshore patrol boats.

"What we mustn't do is allow all that skill, expertise and technology to disappear, and I fear that it is what is happening under Westminster.

"We need to be in control so that we make decisions here in Scotland that suit Scotland."

Yes Scotland chief executive Blair Jenkins said: "Alex Mosson is giving voice to the views of a lot of Labour voters when he says that an independent Scotland is more likely to produce the kind of society and the kind of values that people associate with the Labour and trade union movements."

Mr Mosson spoke out two weeks after former Strathclyde Regional Council leader Sir Charles Gray said he would also back independence next year.