A SENIOR SNP MP has described the Scottish Government’s new Citizens Assembly as the “perfect way” to move Scotland towards independence.

Just a day after the forum's chair asked Unionist doubters to give the exercise a chance, Joanna Cherry QC posted a video on social media appearing to confirm their worst suspicions.

She said: “Hi, I’m Joanne Cherry member of parliament for Edinburgh South West and I’m very proud to have championed the idea of a citizens assembly for Scotland as SNP policy.

“I believe this is the perfect way to move Scotland on from the current state of Brexit paralysis created by Westminster and to move us towards independence.”

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The remark appears to validate concerns expressed by the Scottish Tories and Scottish LibDems last week that the Assembly was designed to advance independence.

MSP Tory Adam Tomkins called it a “Nationalist stunt” and urged Unionists to “give it a wide berth”.

That prompted chair David Martin, the former Labour MEP, to appeal to people on Monday not to boycott the new forum, which is due to start its deliberations in the autumn.

On Tuesday morning, the Scotland in Union group wrote to its 26,000 registered supporters urging a boycott unless the SNP could prove it would not “misuse” the Assembly.

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It cited a comment by Ms Cherry last month when she said the Assembly was “part of the process of preparing voters in Scotland for a second independence referendum”.

Less than an hour later, the Edinburgh South West MP appeared to double-down on her position, posting a video on Twitter to promote an Electoral Reform Society event about the Assembly at Edinburgh University next week.

In it she said she said it was the "perfect way" to get out of the Brexit impasse towards independence.

Ms Cherry, the SNP’s Justice spokesperson at Westminster, helped pave the way for the Assembly by tabling a motion to the recent party conference calling for one to advance independence.

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The text said: “Conference resolves not to make the same mistake [as Brexit] with the next Scottish independence referendum.

“When the sovereign people of Scotland vote in that referendum, there must be a clear prospectus that voters will be making their decision on.

“Conference therefore calls on the Scottish Parliament to enact the necessary legislation to conduct a Citizens’ Assembly exercise to listen to the people of Scotland and empower them to create their own vision of the new Nation we will bring into being together.”

Ms Cherry recently revealed she considers herself a potential leader of the SNP in an email to members.