A CONTROVERSIAL pro-independence group hoping to organise a massive rally ahead of the UK’s exit from the European Union has invited Nicola Sturgeon to address the crowds.

Hope Over Fear is calling on “the Indy family and the many thousands who have switched from No to Yes” to gather in Glasgow’s George Square on Sunday, March 24 – and demand a date for a second referendum by September at the latest.

It urged the SNP Government to “rescue Scotland from the British political chaos by launching the lifeboat of the IndyRef2 ballot for which they have a triple-lock mandate to call”.

Hope Over Fear has attracted criticism in the past due to its links with convicted perjurer Tommy Sheridan, with SNP politicians urged to distance themselves from its events.

In a press release, it called on supporters to assemble and listen to “powerful advocates for Scottish independence and declare their physical support for the launch of IndyRef2 in 2019”.

It said: “Hope Over Fear recognises the SNP led government possess a hard earned triple-lock and democratic mandate to call IndyRef2 and feel it must be used now while the British unionists are divided and weakened by their Brexit inflicted chaos.

“Regardless of how supporters of independence voted in the 2016 Brexit Referendum the clear majority of Scots, 62%, voted to Remain in the EU.

“To be dragged out of that body against the expressed democratic wishes of the Scottish nation is not only undemocratic but unacceptable. Such an outrage is a justification, among others, for IndyRef2.

“Hope Over Fear believes failure to use the democratic mandate for IndyRef2 would be a serious tactical error in the pursuit of independence and represent a betrayal of the hopes and aspirations of the grassroots independence movement.”

Hope Over Fear said the rally on March 24 would be a “clarion call” to the SNP to “sound the independence bell” and name a date for a second referendum by September at the latest.

It said it would “invite independence campaigners from across the broad Indy family to address the rally as well as officially inviting First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to attend and speak”.

Mr Sheridan was jailed in 2011 after lying during his successful defamation case against the News of the World.

The disgraced former MSP is listed as the secretary of Hope Over Fear Ltd, while his wife Gail is the director.

Scottish Tory chief whip Maurice Golden said: “Nicola Sturgeon’s vague promises on IndyRef2 can only keep extreme nationalists happy for so long, and they are clearly getting restless.

“The people of Scotland voted against independence, and the SNP knows the majority of Scots do not want more constitutional turmoil.

“Nicola Sturgeon cannot have it both ways indefinitely. She must put Scotland first and take IndyRef2 off the table.”