HUMZA Yousaf will today (Saturday) be joining activists in Blantyre on a party Day of Action.

The First Minister will also be speaking to local organisations alongside Cllr Katy Loudon, the SNP's candidate for the potential by-election in Rutherglen and Hamilton West, to outline why the Westminster cost of living crisis shows “precisely why it's time for independence”.

The by-election in the South Lanarkshire constituency hinges on the live recall petition.

If more than 10% of voters add their names to the petition, either in person or by postal vote, Ferrier will automatically lose her seat.

The process was triggered after MPs backed a 30 day suspension for Margaret Ferrier MP from the Commons after her pandemic rule breaches and subsequent criminal conviction.

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Following the party’s convention in Dundee, Yousaf intends to put independence front and centre of election strategy.

The First Minister said he is making the SNP’s stance “crystal clear”.

He said: "We need to be clear, Westminster is not as good as it gets - and a choice between the Tories or the increasingly right wing Labour party is no real choice at all. That is why the SNP will fight the next election with independence front and centre of our campaign.

"The SNP will always use the tools at our disposal to protect households from damaging Tory policies they never voted for in the first place but, with independence, we can do so much better than mitigating Westminster damage.

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"The time to choose our future is now and, alongside SNP activists the length and breadth of the country, today I am making it crystal clear the SNP will offer people that choice at the next election - a choice for Scotland to unleash its full potential and build a better society as an independent country."

He added: "There has never been a more vital time for Scotland to have the full powers of a normal independent country to escape the never ending damage being caused by a Westminster economic model that is causing such misery.

"Independent countries that are like Scotland are wealthier and have fewer people in poverty than the UK. With all our resources and talent, why not Scotland?

"Households are suffering a Tory made cost of living crisis and Labour is not offering any real alternative as Keir Starmer rolls back on promises faster than he makes them, abandoning ordinary people in need of help and showing precisely why it's time for independence.”

Members of the SNP have been called on to take part in SNP Day's of Action on the first Saturday of every month.