SCOTLAND’S Minister for Independence has said it is “not factually accurate” to claim this weekend’s Yes rally has been organised by SNP.

Ahead of Saturday’s March and Rally for an Independent Scotland in the EU, minister Jamie Hepburn told The National the event is “clearly” grassroots-led with no individual political party affiliation.

Critics have claimed the rally is being organised behind the scenes by the SNP to ensure control over the First Minister's appearance in front of the movement after excusing themselves from previous rallies organised by more critical branches.

However, Hepburn has debunked this claim.

“That’s just not factually accurate, its clearly being organised by Believe in Scotland and Yes for EU," Hepburn said.

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He added: “Yes, of course, the First Minister and I are SNP politicians, but a lot of people are speaking, Lorna Slater, she's clearly not an SNP parliamentarian, there's Brian Cox, and then there's people who are, as far as I know, not overly associated with any one individual political party, but they believe in independence.

“So, I think that's not quite accurate to make that claim”.

Hepburn also reflected on his first political march in 1985, where he joined his mother, a teacher, at the launch of aerial messages for a campaign by the Educational Institute of Scotland.

A five-year-old Hepburn joined members to release 430 purple helium-filled balloons in George Square with messages directed to then Secretary of State for Scotland George Younger under prime minister Margaret Thatcher, stating: “Give teachers a fair deal. The people of Scotland want it and Scottish education demands it”.

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Now, as the first-ever Minister for Independence, Hepburn is set to speak at a rally.

He said: “I was very happy to accept the invitation, I was almost certainly going to come along to the march and rally, I have no aversion to them.

“I think they've got an important place as part of political activism in terms of demonstrating the campaign is still there. That's particularly relevant for this one because clearly, we're still in a position where despite there being a pro-independence Scottish government, plus a majority pro-independence parliament voted for by the people, we still have a transient UK government who are denying the outcome of that election.

READ MORE: Edinburgh Yes rally: Why EU membership is front and centre

“So, let’s get people on the street to remind them and the rest of the world that we're still here, still campaigning”.

Hepburn said the alliance between Believe in Scotland and Yes for EU offers another reminder to the world’s media Scotland has not forgotten being “removed from the EU against its will and we're still campaigning hard to make sure through independence, we can re-engage with Europe”.

He spoke to The National before heading out to campaign in Rutherglen and Hamilton West.

He said: “The ultimate, and the most important thing we can be doing is going out to communities and engaging with those who we've got to persuade.

“Hopefully, an event like this could energise folk up and encourage them to do just that, to get out there and speak to the people we need to convince”.