Scottish independence: Nicola Sturgeon to speak at Glasgow rally

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Nicola SturgeonImage source, BBC

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon is to address a pro-independence rally in Glasgow next month.

The event, organised by The National newspaper, will take place in George Square on Saturday 2 November.

It is the first time Ms Sturgeon has addressed such an event in five years.

The SNP leader told the paper she was "really looking forward" to speaking at the event, and said she hoped people would "come together and make Scotland's voice heard".

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The last time Ms Sturgeon addressed a pro-independence rally was in 2014.

She has been criticised by some activists for not attending events such as the All Under One Banner (AUOB) event in Edinburgh earlier this month.

However, the first minister did tweet ahead of the march to say she was not able to attend, but would be there "in spirit".

At the party's conference in Aberdeen earlier this month, she said a second referendum on Scottish independence "must happen next year". She also confirmed that she would ask the UK government for formal consent by the end of this year.

Image source, Derrick Farnell
Image caption,
The marchers at the Edinburgh event walked from Holyrood Park to a rally in The Meadows

On Friday, she also issued a message to EU citizens living in Scotland. She said the Scottish government would "do everything in [its] power" to help them stay in the country following Brexit.

She said: "I want to reaffirm a very simple message for all EU citizens in Scotland: Scotland welcomes you.

"We value the contribution you make to our economy, our culture, and our society. And because of that we want you to stay here in Scotland," she said in a video on the Scottish government Twitter account.

Ms Sturgeon added that her government would continue to call on the UK government to do everything it can to recognise EU citizens' rights and to guarantee them in law.