TWO of the SNP’s leading politicians, John Swinney and Pete Wishart, led up to 20,000 people through Perth yesterday on the latest march and rally for independence

The MSP and Deputy First Minister and the MP who has been such a distinctive voice in the Commons held the All Under One Banner on a march that showed how, even in a city that voted emphatically No in the 2014 referendum, there is now an appetite for independence.

Both gave rousing speeches at the rally at North Inch which followed the peaceful march through the city centre.

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John Swinney told the crowd: “Boris Johnson has behaved in a cavalier fashion towards democracy, ignoring the wishes of the people of Scotland, ignoring the democratic voice of the elected parliament. Johnson is not fit to be the Prime Minister of a democratic society.

“What the last two weeks demonstrate is that the Tory government is prepared to ride roughshod over the opinions of the people of Scotland, and we are here today to say to them you will not do that to the opinions of the people of Scotland.

“What this event today is all about is bringing us all together from all sorts of backgrounds, from all political views to say that we are united by the argument that Scotland should be able to choose our own future and we want to choose independence as the future of our country.

“We are democrats in Scotland and we believe in the right of the people of our country to choose our own future – that’s the historical roots of Scottish society.

“It’s what we hold dear, it was the opinion that led to the foundation of the Scottish Parliament the democratic expression of the will of the people of Scotland, and no one, nobody, not Boris Johnson or anybody else can stand in the way of the democratic wishes of the people of this country.

The National:

“What we got to do as a movement is make sure that we stick together and make sure that we talk to those who are not yet persuaded of our arguments, Because they are out there and they are interested because they are horrified by what Boris Johnson is doing to the British democracy. They are horrified by what Boris Johnson and the Tories want to do to our society. They want to hear from us the compelling arguments for Scottish independence.”

Pete Wishart called for all 13 Scottish Tory MPs to lose their seats at the likely general election.

He said: “They went to Westminster to try to thwart the ambitions of this movement and we have the opportunity to sweep them all away as if they never ever existed.

“We will do that at this General Election.

“This city significantly voted No so let me tell you what’s happening in Perth. There are people in the city who are now considering joining this moment. They are appalled at what they are seeing with this Boris Johnson Government, they are appalled by what they’re seeing with the suspension of democracy, they are appalled by what they have seen from this government about taking us out of the European Union, and they are looking round at us and they are liking what they are seeing – it is it is our job to make that journey easier.”

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Among the other speakers was local man Peter A Bell, the veteran independence campaigner and blogger.

He said: “Five years ago, at about daft o’clock in the morning of Friday 19 September, I walked out of that building over there feeling pretty bloody dejected. I’d been at the count for the 2014 independence referendum and, of course, by that time we all knew the outcome.

“Looking around me today I see that, five years on, we are still standing. We are standing tall. We are standing strong. We are standing and we are marching and we are working to rectify the mistake we made five years ago.”

To cheers he added: “We're still Yes. We're all Yes. We're always Yes.”