IN the first march and rally of its kind in the Highlands, more than 1,000 people marched through Inverness on Saturday to show solidarity with EU nationals and call for independence.

Blessed by largely sunny weather, the marchers in Bught Park first observed a minute’s silence for the victims of the Christchurch massacre, then heard from Inverness MP Drew Hendry, who made an impassioned plea against Brexit.

He said: “Brexit? Let me ask you: what do you think of Brexit? It is absolute rubbish. We are marching today to say that Scotland did not vote for Brexit and we value our EU friends and neighbours. And we want our children and young people to experience and have the benefit of what for the last 40 years is to be part of a progressive Europe and treats its members as people.

"When you are marching today you are sending a signal to Theresa May that you don’t want Brexit, that Brexit is not what Scotland is about.”

The march organisers said in a statement: “We are now about to be forced out of the EU against the will of the majority of Scotland’s people. There will be massive damage to Scotland in the coming years due to us being pulled out of the EU.

“Unlike the middle-Englanders who voted for Brexit, we value all of our citizens, no matter where they originate from. We can see through the lies of the right-wing run press and media.

“We want a real democracy in Scotland and beyond, so that everyone’s voice can be heard.

"We want to live in a country where people can decide for themselves how our own future will be shaped. A fairer, more equal society."

Co-organiser Judith Reid told The Courier newspaper: "I'm feeling quite ecstatic. The weather stayed good, the humour is really good, there is all manner of people here, all different ages, all different nationalities with flags flying. And the message is: Scotland can."