SNP to create Scottish independence taskforce
The SNP has announced the creation of a taskforce in its campaign for Scottish independence.
The plan was outlined by the party's campaign director Keith Brown, who said it could be "the final piece in the jigsaw" in delivering independence.
However, the party faced criticism from the Scottish Conservatives, who claimed their leadership was focusing on a second referendum when they should be concerned about the coronavirus pandemic.
Brown, the SNP's depute leader and campaign director, said: "Our independence taskforce at SNP headquarters will be welcomed by party members and grassroots Yes activists across the country.
"I really believe that when I make the appointment it will also fire-up the wider Yes movement."
He added: "And now we’re ramping things up. The independence taskforce will bring strategic direction and expertise which I believe is the final piece in the jigsaw that will help deliver independence."
Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross said: "The SNP are ramping up their push for indyref2 this year while the rest of Scotland is worried about their jobs and when they’ll get the Covid vaccine.
"They are stuck in the Holyrood bubble with no clue about the priorities of people across Scotland.
"Escalating their plans for indyref2 is rash and incredibly self-indulgent when the country is struggling through another lockdown.
"Their shameless push for another referendum this year would wreck our recovery from the pandemic. We need to focus on building up Scotland, not breaking up our country."