AN INDEPENDENT Scotland should drop the Queen as head of state, a republican conference will hear this weekend.

Pressure group Republic will send the message during its first annual conference to be held in Edinburgh.

Speakers include Herald columnist Ian Bell and Dun-can Ross, a former national secretary of the SNP.

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Republic, which is neutral over independence, is pro-moting the slogan: "Yes or No, the Monarchy Must Go."

Mr Bell will claim: "The SNP assert that 'the people are sovereign,' but mean to retain the monarch, presumably still assenting to legislation, as head of state.

"What kind of nonsense is that, even in the misty realms of what passes for Scottish constitutional doctrine?"