SOME of the best known names in Scottish politics have signed up for one of the biggest independence events of the year.

SNP MSPs Kate Forbes, Michael Russell, Pete Wishart and Humza Yousaf will join playwright and author Alan Bissett, award-winning trad singer Iona Fyfe and comedian Viv Gee along with The National’s founding editor Richard Walker for the online pre-conference rally organised by Aberdeen Independence Movement (AIM).

AIM events are a fixture of the indy calendar but this year is set to “blow previous years out the water”, according to co-chair Jack Gillies.

And the good news is that up to 100 Sunday National and National readers will be eligible for a discount if they use the code below.

Due to coronavirus, the event has moved online but this has resulted in the group being able to sign up a wider range of speakers and panellists.

“We have seen a lot of chatter about people missing the rallies and marches, so we decided to organise the nearest thing we could to a rally with quality music, comedy and political discussion,” said co-organiser Alan Petrie.

“Covid has had many challenges for groups like ours but it also offers huge opportunities to innovate. There won’t likely be any big, safe Yes rallies any time soon so we thought we must innovate and bring an uplifting evening just before St Andrew’s Day for the movement. The evening will be a great start to SNP conference but this event is for everyone in the Yes movement, not just SNP members.”

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The move online has allowed costs to be cut but AIM say they have not cut corners.

“To put a physical event on like this in a venue with the entertainment acts that we have booked we would have had to have set ticket prices at at least £25 to make it financially viable,” said Petrie.

“Doing the event virtually we can keep entry price low and bring quality acts while paying them the going rate – the UK Government maybe doesn’t treat the arts and artists with respect and value, but we do. The evening will be four hours of entertainment from well-known artists and speakers.”

Speakers that have been named so far include Forbes, Russell, Yousaf, Walker, Wishart, Valentina Servera Clavell, Aamer Anwar, Kaukab Stewart, Charlotte Armitage, Stacey Bradley, Tom Wills and Vicky Harper.

The evening will also see contributions from Skotia and Believe in Scotland. Hopins networking facility will be open, so participants can chat with other Yessers.

Gillies said it would be a “great event”.

“I’ve been able to get a look at the rough cuts of some of the content that we’ll be showing on the night and it’s all brilliant,” he said. “We knew that the folk we invited to contribute were good but so far absolutely everything I’ve seen has surpassed those already very high expectations.”

The pre-conference event will be held on Friday November 27 from 6pm and tickets can be purchased here: