SNP grandee Michael Russell will be one of the key-note speakers at a pro-independence rally held to mark the 700th anniversary of the Declaration of Arbroath (plus two).

Campaigning organisation All Under One Banner (AUOB) had planned to mark the day in 2020, exactly 700 years after the historic 1320 document was signed.

However, the Covid pandemic interfered with plans laid down both that and the following year, meaning the anniversary celebrations come 702 years after the signing.

READ MORE: Power to the people: The significance of the Declaration of Arbroath explained

Michael Russell said he had accepted AUOB’s invitation to speak at the rally and was looking forward to doing so.

Dave Doogan, the SNP MP for Angus, will also be speaking at the event.

Russell told The National: “I think it’s really important that we commemorate the declaration of Arbroath, and we weren’t able to do so because of the pandemic.

“I think it’s also important that we show our solidarity with, for example, Ukraine, and we assert the issues of independence. We are very happy to do those things and others on April 2.”

He added: “It’s always important to argue the case for independence, and I think that case is stronger than ever.”

Announcing the march on Twitter, AUOB said they will be “delighted to finally march for independence through the ancient streets of Arbroath on Saturday April 2”.

“We are finally able to go ahead and encourage the entire Yes movement to attend and make manifest a massive demonstration to mark the significance of the historic occasion."

The organisation said the Declaration “continues to echo through time, declaring that the people of Scotland have the inalienable right to determine our own future”.

“Scotland will flourish with independence. We will be able to effectively tackle poverty and inequality, and invest in our NHS. We can create a country that welcomes refugees and migrants fleeing war and repression, and remove nuclear weapons - prioritising people over profit.”

AUOB urged people to arrive early for a prompt 12:30pm start to the march, adding: “Bring your flags, banners, pipes, and drums."

The news comes as Nicola Sturgeon reaffirmed her commitment to holding indyref2 in 2023, despite the war in Ukraine.

More information can be found on the event’s Facebook page here.