MSPs have been told more details about Nicola Sturgeon’s planned Citizens’ Assembly should be revealed by the end of next month.

Constitutional Relations Secretary Mike Russell said the Scottish Government also hopes to have published a framework Bill, laying down regulations for a future independence referendum, by then.

His comments came the day after the First Minister confirmed her intention to press ahead with a fresh ballot on the topic before the next Holyrood elections if Brexit goes ahead.

She said then that legislation laying down the rules of a future referendum would be introduced “shortly”, while also revealing her SNP Government would seek to have talks with other parties on the Parliament’s powers.

Sturgeon said a Citizens’ Assembly will consider issues such as what kind of country Scotland should be, bringing together “a representative cross-section” of the nation.

Russell told members of the Scottish Parliament’s Europe Committee: “What I hope to do is, in terms of the Bill and in terms of the Citizens’ Assembly, to come back to Parliament towards the end of May with some views and ideas for discussion.”

While acknowledging his personal enthusiasm for a Citizens’ Assembly, he stressed it would be a “work in progress and people should influence that progress”.

He added: “This is an opportunity for us to have constructive, respectful dialogue in a time when that is difficult, and I freely acknowledge that.

“In an age of extremes where everything seems extreme it is important we try to do that.”

He said he wants talks with opposition parties to be an “open and constructive process” when looking at the “necessary changes to repair the badly broken system” of devolution, seeking to find a way parties will enter into a dialogue.

He added: “The First Minister has, I think, written to the party leaders inviting them to take part in this and I will shortly contact them to seek initial meetings.”