THE Independence Minister has addressed why he did not attend the pro-independence march organised by the campaign group All Under One Banner in Glasgow.

It comes as the group called out the party for holding their convention on the same day as the next independence march in Stirling.

The previous AUOB rally was held on May 6, to coincide with the King's coronation. Estimates said that up to 20,000 people attended.

Speaking to the BBC’s Sunday Show, Hepburn was quizzed on why he was not among the protesters.

The minister said he had been speaking to his constituents on the weekend in question, going on: “I’ve nothing against going to marches and nothing against going to rallies, that can be an important part of demonstrating that we’re not going anywhere.

“But we’re not going to win independence by marching and rallying alone.”

READ MORE: Humza Yousaf responds to request to speak at AUOB independence rally

Hepburn also confirmed the option of a de facto referendum will be part of discussions at the SNP’s special convention on independence.

He said the SNP would lay out the details of its approach to independence at the event on June 24, but any route would have to be legal.

The minister said the party was working hard to organise regional independence assemblies, something Humza Yousaf pledged on the campaign trail for the SNP leadership.

Hepburn said: “We will hold an SNP independence convention on the 24th of June which will provide party members an opportunity to come together to discuss the road ahead, discuss what our platform will be in advance of the 2024 General Election.

“I can certainly say independence will be front and centre.”

Asked if the possibility of a de facto referendum approach was still on the table, he said: “The First Minister has said that so long as it’s rightly within the parameters of a legal, electoral route no option should be taken off the table.

“So that will form part of our discussion.”

A concept raised by Nicola Sturgeon, a de facto referendum would involve treating the votes for the SNP at a General Election as votes for independence.

Some in the SNP, including former leadership candidate Ash Regan and senior MP Pete Wishart, have called for an independence convention to include groups outside the SNP.

The SNP announced the special convention will take place in Dundee on June 24, with the sole focus of “how Scotland is able to hold a legally binding independence referendum”. Only party members will be allowed to attend. 

Writing in the Sunday National, Humza Yousaf also pledged a “summer of independence campaign activity” which would “take our positive message to every corner of the country”.