MORE than 1000 people attended a Yes rally in Edinburgh on Saturday where the talk among the crowd was dominated by the SNP “walk out” at Westminster and influx in the party’s membership by more than 7000 amid the UK’s handling of the Brexit Bill.

The National’s columnist Paul Kavanagh – aka Wee Ginger Dug – and the leader of the Scottish Socialist Party Colin Fox were among the speakers at the Inch Park event which was designed to attract local people and families.

Organiser Mike Blackshaw, manager of Edinburgh Yes Hub, said he was pleased so many people turned out despite heavy rain in the capital.

“We had a very successful day with lots of speakers and about 20 stalls which were all well attended,” he said. “A lot of the chat was about what happened at Westminster when the SNP MPs walked out and about the increase in SNP members.”

Blackshaw added that the hub would hold another rally in the city next year.

During his speech Fox said the independence movement had reached a crossroads with the publication of the SNP’s Sustainable Growth Commission report – which he has criticised saying it extends austerity. The First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has rejected the criticism.

“For me independence is all about change. That is its greatest attraction and our strongest asset. It’s about transforming the Scotland we see today,” he said. “Britain is a failing state. I’m not out to win the great prize of independence against the odds and after great sacrifice just to establish a replica of it to please financiers and aristocrats.”

The commission was set up in September 2016 to look the economic issues surrounding independence after some observers believed there were weaknesses in the arguments made in 2014. The SNP is organising meetings over the summer to discuss the commission’s recommendations which include using the pound but not in a currency union, and reducing the Budget deficit from around 6% to 3% within a decade.