THE SNP must give up its dream of independence if it is to win it.

As a councillor and SNP group leader at Inverclyde Council, I see every day the needs of it’s constituents. We are at hand to deal with the daily politics of everyday life.

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There are many big issues facing Inverclyde and indeed Scotland as a whole, but the obvious one that is in everyone’s mind is Brexit and the increasingly xenophobic approach of the UK Government. The ‘Go Home van’ was a spectacular example of Theresa May’s record as Home Secretary on immigration and today the Windrush generation is suffering the same plight.

If Scotland were to lose people from across the EU – and further afield – who have come to work here, live here and call Scotland home, then not only would our NHS suffer, our tourism, science and indeed even our police force would suffer too. No sector in Scotland would be unaffected by Brexit and what I believe an increasingly isolationist Home Office.

That is why I believe as an individual and as a member of the Scottish National Party that we need our independence more than ever. But the SNP will never be able to deliver independence on its own.

The best election result the SNP have ever achieved in terms of share of votes was the 2015 Westminster election. The SNP achieved a whopping 50 per cent of the votes across all of Scotland. In the Scottish Parliamentary election, we achieved 46.5 per cent of the vote, in the 2017 Westminster election, 36.9 per cent.

If an independence referendum were to be called today and the SNP go it alone and be the official ‘Yes’ campaign and it’s SNP versus everyone else, we will lose based solely on voting history.

We need to think differently. One late evening in December 2011 , Alex Salmond summoned his trusted advisors to Bute House and there he shared his dream and gave them a mission. To go out and set up the biggest community campaign there had ever been in Scotland. They achieved his vision, but the execution was far from perfect.

Yes Scotland was launched in May 2012 and it took three months to appoint directors and in 18 months all of the directors had either left, been sacked or their contracts were not renewed, that left nine months until the referendum.

Now I am not criticising any of the individuals, decisions were made at the time that were the best at that time. But they turned out to be the wrong decisions. We must learn from the great successes of Yes Scotland but also learn from their very public mistakes.

Alyn Smith MEP once described the next Scottish Independence referendum, not as #indyref2 but as IndyRef new. The reason being a lot has happened since September 2014 and the field is more complicated than ever. We cannot just replicate Yes Scotland and hope for the best, we must have a new Yes team assembled, and that needs to happen now. The new Yes Scotland team must embrace moderate views, socialist philosophies, environmental, radical and democratic thinking if it is to bring a nation together to win its sovereignty. If I am elected depute leader, I will be recommending to the First Minister that we begin the search the day after our conference in June to seek out an individual who could set up and lead that journey towards independence. A new team completely independent and free from undue influence of the SNP. This person will have to have broad shoulders as they would be carrying the weight of world history on them. This could be the last ever independence referendum Scotland has, win or lose. Of course, he or she would have to be experienced at political campaigns and aware of the ins and outs of Westminster and Holyrood. They would have to know how each Government works either side of the border and in today’s media climate, someone with a journalistic background would be an advantage. The individual would be of the political world but not in the political world as they would have to embrace people of all party colours in Scotland and those of none.

I am not that individual, I would never claim nor seek to be and I do not envy the person who would take up the mantle of being the director of a new Yes Scotland campaign with the sole goal of delivering for Scotland its independence. There are lots of possibilities including journalist Lesley Riddoch, Chief of Staff to the First Minister Liz Lloyd, communications expert Kevin Pringle and former SNP Chief of Staff Luke Skipper. However, former SNP Depute Leader and Westminster Leader Angus Robertson would be my top pick for the job. If I am elected depute leader, I will be recommending to Nicola Sturgeon that we must find this individual so the SNP can surrender the dream of independence to a team that can and must win it.