YES supporters should take seats in the House of Lords in order to create “ambassadors for independence in the institutional heart of the UK”, a former top SNP strategist has said.

Stephen Noon, the chief strategist of the Yes campaign during the 2014 referendum, argued for pro-independence voices to take peerages in an article penned for the Sunday National.

He further told this paper that Plaid Cymru – the Welsh pro-independence party – had provided a template which could be followed in Scotland.

“What interests me is Plaid Cymru put people into the House of Lords, and they've got a mechanism whereby people nominate themselves within the party and then the party has a vote,” Noon said.

Plaid Cymru currently has three people ready to take up peerages after internal elections concluded this month. The party said it will nominate them for the Lords "if and when opportunities arise".

READ MORE: Why Plaid Cymru is not benefitting from Welsh independence support in the polls

Noon said there were figures with the SNP at Westminster who are to step back from frontline politics - and within the wider Yes movement - who would be valuable additions to the Lords.

“I know the movement probably would react cautiously to this idea. I mean, the House of Lords is not our favourite institution – but it's there, and can we use it?” he went on.

“Within the movement, we've got figures who are respected and experienced. I suppose the point I'm making is that we have this talent within the movement, wouldn't it be good to be able to deploy it?”

In his article for the Sunday National, Noon said he had first concluded that Yes figures should take peerages “in 1998 when the Scotland Bill passed from the Commons to the Lords and the SNP lost the ability to meaningfully engage with the legislation or influence the debate”.

The National: Rishi Sunak managed to see off a potential rebellion on his Safety of Rwanda Bill (House of Commons/UK Parliament/PA)

He further argues for close relationships and co-operation with the rest of the UK, saying that England will be a vital partner and neighbour after a Yes vote.

However, he told this paper that due to political realities, this may be “impossible” for SNP figures to achieve, as they are too caught up in daily arguments with the Conservatives or Labour.

Instead, he said the Yes movement - a lot of whom joined the SNP after the 2014 referendum - needed to “reappear”.

Noon said: “The image I have is, if I look at the pitch, a lot of the Yes players are in a defensive position around the Scottish Government. They're caught up in a particular day-to-day political battle.

“I think the movement needs to identify ways of getting different people and more people onto the pitch – and people positioned not in a defensive huddle around the government but actually out doing proactive jobs.

“My suggestion about the House of Lords is about having people on the pitch who are able to engage in a way that party politicians aren't.”

The National: A newspaper intends to sue Baroness Michelle Mone over its legal expenses (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The SNP does not nominate people for seats in the Lords, and party leader Humza Yousaf has recently reiterated calls for the entire House to be abolished in the wake of the scandal around former Scottish Tory peer Michelle Mone (above).

But Noon said there were other avenues to be explored, including the Lords Appointments Commission, which vets party’s nominations but also recommends individuals as non-party-political life peers.

Elsewhere in his article, the former Yes strategist argues for independence to be done “well”, a point he made during an appearance on Question Time earlier in December.

He says that steps should be taken towards becoming an independent state now – as these are steps which will not need to be taken later. He writes: “Scotland’s post-independence path is firmly connected to our pre-independence one.”

READ MORE: Stephen Noon: Here's what we must do now to see independence done well

Speaking to the Sunday National, Noon said that a Labour government elected on promises of constitutional reform could provide a chance for Scotland to expand its powers.

“I think the big opportunity that's emerging over the horizon, given the probability of a Labour government, is that we may have some sort of constitutional reform act,” he said.

“I think we should be taking this opportunity to work out, if there's going to be a small step forward, what's the most useful step forward?

“For me, I think the capacities that are most deliverable are probably a fuller expansion of our social security capacity, but also an expansion of our tax capacity.

“If in the next step forward we can put in place a near complete welfare system, that would be a really, really significant step forward for independence preparation.”