A NEW code of conduct for the Yes campaign will help the media be “more receptive” to independence supporters, according to an SNP MSP.

Speaking at a fringe event hosted by Aberdeen Independence Movement (AIM) at the SNP conference, Banffshire and Buchan Coast MSP Karen Adam argued that it’s key to be “careful how we’re portrayed in the media” as we move towards indyref2.

Back in May, AIM announced that the code would be brought in to encourage “respectful and tolerant” campaigning and provide a template for the wider movement as social media toxicity among independence supporters made headlines.

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Calls for a code were again at the forefront after BBC journalist James Cook received abuse from protesters while appearing at a demonstration outside the Tory leadership hustings in Perth this summer. Right-wing publications and Unionist campaigners jumped on the incident.

"We need a code of conduct for the civic Yes movement, one that sets out our values and distances us from those who harm us," AIM said in the wake of the incident.

Now on Sunday the SNP conference will discuss a motion titled “Independence principles – building our civic movement”, brought forward by Adam, SNP president Michael Russell, Alyn Smith, Pete Wishart and others – which aims to establish a code of conduct along the lines of the one produced by AIM.

The code would be "built on the principles of freedom, tolerance, equality, the protection of individual and community rights and the rejection of prejudice and discrimination in any form".

Those promoting the motion hope to see “all organisations involved in the Yes campaign” sign up to the code.

However, the idea of a code has been controversial among some members of the independence movement who are concerned about limits on free speech.

Speaking at the AIM fringe event, Adam and the panellists hit back against that idea.

Josh Mennie, a campaigner and staffer in Adam’s office, said the code will allow the movement to “uphold the principles of the kind of nation we want to be”.

“It’s not about controlling people, it’s about working together, sharing best practice,” he said.

“It's not an attack on free speech – people are free to say what they want, they just won’t be involved in our campaign,” he told members.

Pete Wishart, SNP MP for Perth and North Perthshire, suggested that a lack of code of conduct could have disadvantaged the 2014 independence campaign.

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“The tone of the campaign in 2014 possibly cost us up to 1-2 percentage points,” he said, arguing that for many No voters the indyref experience was not positive.

“This is important work that the party can undertake,” he added.

Later Toni Giugliano, the SNP’s policy convener, said that AIM’s work had been a “model for the rest of the country” and suggested bringing in a code of conduct means campaign work can get underway sooner rather than later.

“We should be campaigning now not waiting for any starting gun,” he told delegates.

It is not yet known if there will be any amendments lodged against the code of conduct proposals, but the motion will be debated on Sunday afternoon.

The full list of proposers are Michael Russell, Karen Adam, Portsoy Branch, Alyn Smith, Hannah Bardell, Pete Wishart, Graeme Dey, Toni Guigliano, Councillor Graham Campbell, and Councillor Siobhan Tolland.