A new pro-independence group is being launched in Edinburgh tasked with getting the support for Scottish independence to over 50%.

The new civic campaign body, Voices for Scotland, will be launched this morning in Edinburgh by SIC convenor Elaine C Smith, accompanied by members of the board appointed to run the new group.

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The body, which has been launched a day after Nicola Sturgeon set out her plans for a potential second referendum, is to be headed up by long-term independence supporter Chris Hegarty with Elaine C Smith on the board alongside former MSP Dave Thompson.

Ms Smith, who chairs the SIC said: “The UK is in the middle of a political crisis and we’re launching because, important as the views of politicians are, there are many more voices in Scotland which need to be heard as we debate our future.

“About a third of those voices are definite independence supporters and about a third are definitely not. We’re all about opening conversations with the third of people who are in the middle, who are undecided or are doubting their previous opinions.”

The new body is largely funded by small donations from the public. Its board members include Greens co-leader Maggie Chapman and human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar. 

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But Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said: “This is yet another anti-UK campaign group that will only be talking to a minority of people in Scotland.

“Regardless of how many campaigns to leave the UK are established, they will be unable to produce a positive vision for breaking up the UK because there isn’t one.

“The majority of people in Scotland know we are stronger together and want the SNP and its allies to drop plans for a divisive and unwanted second independence referendum.”