THE leader of a new ‘“inclusive” campaign group for independence has told most Scottish voters they do not speak a “proper language”.

Dave Thompson, chair of Voices for Scotland, risked insulting electors by suggesting at the SNP conference that only Gaelic and Scots had true standing.

Mr Thompson, who was a Highlands & Islands MSP from 2007 to 2013, used the two languages to introduce himself to delegates at the start of Sunday’s session in Edinburgh.

He then said: “Apologies to those who do not have the two proper languages of Scotland."

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The 2011 Scottish census found 93% people aged 3 and over used only English at home, followed by Scots and Polish (each 1%) and Gaelic (0.5%) as the most common languages other than English.

Mr Thompson, 69, launched Voices for Scotland last week with the goal of getting support for independence up to 60 per cent.

The group said it wanted to be a “safe space” for people to debate independence free from “shouty men” and wanted to win over No Voters through the art of calm conversation.

Mr Thompson told the conference Scotland was in the home straight for independence, and the Yes campaign should “gently woo” No voters.

A Scottish Conservative spokesman said: “To use a word that every Scot would understand Mr Thomspon appears to have a made a bit of fool himself. He also risks insulting thousands of voters.”