TOP human rights lawyers have been hired by an SNP MP as he continues his legal battle with the UK Government over secret polling on the union.

The data under dispute relates to tax-payer funded polling on attitudes towards the union and Scottish independence taken in 2018.

The MP for Edinburgh East, Tommy Sheppard, previously won an Information Commissioner ruling to have the documents made public.

However, after the Cabinet Office refused to release them, Sheppard was forced to take the government to court.

The MP’s legal team have now sent their written submission to the court where a judgment could be decided without an oral hearing.

Speaking to The Herald, Sheppard said that he was only able to hire the prestigious Bindmans firm after a crowdfunding campaign raised nearly £10,000.

He said: "This is now not so much about polling and independence, but about the right to know.

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“It should ring alarms bells with anyone concerned about what the government is doing," he said.

"I hope the judge will find in our favour, the Cabinet Office abide by that and that will be the end of the matter as it's been going on for far too long. But I am dealing here with a very belligerent and intransigent Cabinet Office."

Sheppard originally requested the data be made public through a Freedom of Information request in 2019, which was rejected by Whitehall.

Since then, the Cabinet Office has appealed the ruling to hand over the information twice.

The legal firm Sheppard has hired have represented a host of high-profile clients.

They include the families of those affected by the Grenfell fire and Hillsborough football disaster.

Bindmans lawyers also represented former Ministry of Defence official Clive Ponting after leaked documents relating to the sinking of the Argentinian ship the General Belgrano during the Falklands War resulted in him being arrested and charged with breaching the Official Secrets Act.

A judge directed the jury to convict Ponting but he was acquitted of the crimes.