INDEPENDENCE-supporting politicians praised The National’s #indyref20202 rally at the weekend, after thousands flocked to Glasgow's George Square.

MPs, MSPs and councillors joined citizens from around the country at the high-profile event in Glasgow on Saturday.

Scottish Government ministers including Derek Mackay and Aileen Campbell attended with their families to see a line-up of speakers from across the Yes movement lead calls for democratic change.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf, who was amongst the line-up, said he was “absolutely buzzing” after giving his address, telling followers on Twitter: “As a Glasgow boy I’m proud of this Yes City for turning out in incredible numbers. With passionate supporters & tonnes of hard work we are going to win this for Scotland!”

Former MP Angus Robertson attended with his wife, while SNP MSPs Fulton MacGregor and Jenny Gilruth formed a “Lanarkshire and Fife tag team”, holding a Saltire between them.

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Glasgow Maryhill and Springburn MSP Bob Doris hailed the “party atmosphere” in the city’s George Square and Angela Crawley, who is standing for re-election to the Lanark and Hamilton East seat, called the mood “incredible”.

The roster of speakers was capped by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon in her first independence rally address since 2014.

Telling the crowd that the NHS, workers’ rights and environmental standards are “on the line” under a Boris Johnson-led UK Government, she stated : “The Scotland we seek is open, welcoming, diverse and inclusive and no Tory is ever going to be allowed to change that.”

Jackson Carlaw, the interim leader of the Scottish Tories, responded to those words yesterday, telling social media followers: “Sturgeon here is of course, hectoring & divisive. Pitching Scot against Scot all over again.

“A painful echo of the notoriously over confident, ill-judged ‘92 Kinnock Sheffield rally.

“We need to put this division behind us.”

At the rally on Saturday, members of the public outlined their reasons for backing a fresh referendum on Scotland’s future.

Lorraine King, 63, from Glasgow, said: “This country should be independent, the union is holding us back and taking from us every year. It’s a disgrace. We can sustain ourselves.”

Clydebank woman Monique Wright said her experience as a carer and mother to two children with autism, Asperger’s and other needs had shaped her political views.

The 51-year-old said: “It’s become quite hostile for them. I want them to have a future that holds more, that concentrates on ability rather than disability, showing that these people are valuable and they can contribute to society.”

Calling for compassion, she went on: “Carers like myself are worthless in the eyes of the state. You’re constantly called on to prove yourself.”

The event was designed to give the Yes movement a chance to come together and saw some online activists meet in person for the first time.

On her reasons for attending, Wright’s sister Gabby Kelly, 54, a legal secretary, said: “It’s important to turn up in person and show support, rather than relying on computers to do it.”

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While some attendees were veterans of Yes marches and campaigns, the rally was the first such event for others.

Paisley office worker Ross McKenzie, 36, travelled to the rally with friends. He said: “I haven’t been to any of the All Under One Banner marches, but I had to come out to this.

“I didn’t know what to expect, but it’s incredible to see so many people here.

“Sometimes it seems impossible and it seems like too much to hope for, but I really hope that we do get indyref2 next year, and that we get a Yes majority.

“We can’t lose it twice.”