FORMER Scottish LibDem chief Willie Rennie, ex Greens leader Robin Harper and Save the Children director Kirsty McNeill are among the names joining Gordon Brown’s Unionist think tank advisory board, it has been announced.

The Our Scottish Future group, which describes itself as opposed to both “no change Unionism” and “no compromise nationalism”, welcomed McNeill as the board’s new chair on Tuesday.

The anti-poverty campaigner currently serves as director of policy, advocacy and campaigns at Save the Children and previously worked as an adviser to Brown during his time in Number 10.

“I’m delighted to take up the position of chair of Our Scottish Future’s advisory board,” McNeill said.

The National: Rennie stepped down as Scottish LibDem leader last yearRennie stepped down as Scottish LibDem leader last year (Image: PA)

“I’m also extremely grateful to the new members of our board, all of whom are committed to setting out a fresh, progressive agenda for the Scotland we love.”

She went on: “We will proudly champion a vision of a reformed Union which puts greater cooperation between the nations of the UK at its heart but we also want to begin a new conversation with independence supporters to see if we can agree on how we can take the UK forward together.

“We may not agree about everything, but we must find ways to agree about more.”

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McNeill added that the political debate isn’t currently in keeping with the severity of the cost of living crisis.

“Scots are united in thinking things can be better than this – in wanting decent jobs, good public services, more opportunities for young people and action on the climate emergency but too often the focus is just on the divisions of yesterday,” she said.

Who else is on the Our Scottish Future Advisory Board?

Other people on the Our Scottish Future board include Labour Hame editor Duncan Hothersall, former Scottish Labour general secretary Fiona Stanton, ex Labour MSP for North East Scotland Jenny Marra, and Labour councillor for Inverclyde Martin McCluskey.

The board also features those from the civil service world, with Professor Jim Gallagher – a former private secretary to two Scottish secretaries – and former permanent secretary to the Department for Exiting the EU, Philip Rycroft.

He also held a role in the Cabinet Office, with responsibility for constitutional and devolution issues.

The National: Robin Harper Robin Harper (Image: File photo)

Former Scottish Greens leader Harper has long disagreed with his own party’s pro-independence stance, saying in 2013 that he would be voting No and that he’d be happy to work with the Better Together campaign.

Reacting to the new appointments, Alba's general secretary Chris McEleny said: "It seems that Gordon Brown’s interventions are getting more regular, more repetitive and less relative to the needs of working people across Scotland.

"The latest being a list of ex-politicians that campaigned in 2014 telling Scots that if they voted No they would get cheaper energy bills.

"With questions over where a £250,000 cash boost came from for the group last month, the only thing we can be sure about is that the Brownhog Day Club is the world’s most expensive retirement party."

What does Our Scottish Future do?

Since being established in 2019, Our Scottish Future has put out a number of reports and pieces of research promoting Scotland remaining in a changed UK.

The think tank also has a podcast which has been rated just 11 times on Spotify, and 12 times on Apple Podcasts. This is a very small number compared to other political podcasts – for example the Rest is Politics hosted by former New Labour spinner Alastair Campbell has thousands of ratings and reviews on both listening platforms.

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Last month, The National reported that Our Scottish Future was facing calls to reveal the source of a quarter-of-a-million pound donations boost.

The most up-to-date Companies House filings showed that the group’s assets went from £5386 in 2020 to a whopping £267,942 a year later.

A spokesman said the funding came “via donations from among the many hundreds of individuals" and said it allowed them to "employ a small staff".

Alison Thewliss, the SNP’s economy spokesperson, called on Our Scottish Future to publish its full finances “in the interests of transparency”.