LAST Saturday, together with a significant cohort of SNP parliamentarians, I joined independence supporters at the All Under One Banner (AUOB) march in Glasgow. I was offered the chance to put my name in the ballot for a seat at the coronation but it was clear to me that there was no contest as to where I should be.

That said, I had no problem with the First Minister attending the coronation. He represents all of Scotland, and it was right for him to be there just as it was right for Stephen Flynn to attend as the leader of the SNP at Westminster.

Much as I would like to see an independent Scottish republic, for the time being, the King is head of state in our constitutional democracy. He is a direct descendent of Scotland’s Stuart line and it was right that Scotland’s government and biggest party be represented.

The National: Humza Yousaf and his wife Nadia El-Nakla leave Westminster Abbey following the coronation of King

Besides, for me, the priority is Scottish independence – once we have that we can decide whether we wish Scotland to be a constitutional monarchy or a republic. I have little doubt Scots will opt for the latter. But we won’t get that choice until we achieve independence.

To do that, we need a strong united independence movement, so it was good to see people from all pro-independence parties and none represented at the sizeable march.

It was a pity that the Scottish Greens felt unable to send official representation. Attendance at the march was largely from working-class independence supporters.

There’s a lesson from history south of the Border as to what happens when self-styled left-wing intellectuals disdain the working class. Even more so when they do so to concentrate on identity politics to the exclusion of bread-and-butter issues. The contrast between indy marchers who united behind a banner which read “Make Poverty History” and those on Calton Hill lecturing women and minority groups about the conditions for their liberation could not have been starker.

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Still, I was glad that Scottish Green politicians and others found someone to offer them a platform for their minority pursuits – albeit it turned out to be rather a small platform.

Many people on the AUOB march also took the opportunity to show their opposition to the monarchy plain. Both the Edinburgh and Glasgow protests went off without incident. However, in London protesters from the group Republic, who had gone to considerable lengths to clear the nature and location of their protest with the police in advance, were detained, searched, arrested and held in the cells for more than 16 hours.

They have now been told there was no basis for their arrest and that there will be no charges. Police appear to have acted under political pressure using the broadly drawn and badly drafted provisions of the new Public Order Act rushed into force in England and Wales last week. It was a disgraceful infringement of the right to protest.

I secured an urgent question and debate about what had happened when the House of Commons returned to work on Tuesday. I called for an inquiry and the Home Affairs Select Committee have invited me to take part in their evidence session which will hear from police, protesters and human rights lawyers next week.

The National: The head of anti-monarchy group Republic, who was arrested ahead of a planned protest on Coronation Day, has branded the detention of him and dozens of others a ‘direct attack on our democracy’ (Piroschka van de Wouw/PA)

Coronation day was a particularly good day to remind the British establishment that in Scotland it is the people, not the Parliament or the King who are sovereign.

That sovereignty, our sovereignty, means that we as Scots have the right to self-determination. Like all other human rights, the right to self-determination is a universal right. It is most definitely not one from which the Scots are uniquely excluded, whatever the UK Supreme Court might have said in a case that I believe was misconceived and misguided.

The Union between England and Scotland is one of consent and so it is a union that can be ended by the will of the people of Scotland.

No 25-year-old devolution act, no British government and no court can ever deny that democratic reality. The Union is more than 300 years old. It is constitutionally illiterate to say that only a referendum backed by a Section 30 order from an Act of Parliament that is barely 25 years old can end it. We need to move away from going cap in hand to ask for a Section 30 order and focus on our sovereignty.

Our movement for self-determination has come a long way in the past decade.

Yes, the SNP has hit a bump in the road and yes, we face big challenges.

But however big those challenges, we are a party with a noble history and some great people and so we will sort out our problems and remain at the vanguard of the independence movement. But the movement for indy is bigger than the SNP and it now exists independently of it. I am an SNP MP – and I intend to remain one – but for me, it is always country before party and my loyalty is to my country and the people who live in it and the independence movement.

As Alex Salmond has said, 10 years ago the SNP enjoyed support in the high 40s while support for independence languished at around 30%. Despite the SNP suffering a dip in the polls independence now enjoys sustained support in the high 40s.

I remember very well attending the launch of the Yes campaign in 2012 in the cinema park at Fountainbridge in Edinburgh, opposite what is now my Edinburgh South West constituency office on Dundee Street. At the time support for independence was 28% and despite the excitement and the hype, I was gloomy because I thought we faced an impossible task. I was wrong.

We nearly won in 2014, and even though we didn’t make it we delivered an independence movement which has remained strong and solid support for independence which has not faltered.

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The challenge now is to build that support. To bring with us the people I meet day to day in my constituency work. They are still disgusted by Brexit, the fuel poverty in our energy-rich country and the ethical vacuum at the heart of the Conservative and Unionist Party.

They know Scotland can and should do better than this, but they are not yet convinced of the case for independence because they have questions on the economy, cross-border trade and Europe that have yet to be answered.

There is hard work to be done answering those questions and I will continue to strive to make sure the SNP and the Scottish Government use the power invested in us by the Scottish people to do it.

I also intend to use such influence as I have within the SNP to make sure we sort out our internal problems and devise a strategy that will deliver an independence vote.

The National: Ash Regan's plans for an independence readiness thermometer aren't being considered by the Scottish

On this, as on many issues during the SNP leadership campaign, Ash Regan (above) was right. Now that the route to another independence referendum is closed off, we must make sure that at every election the SNP and other pro-independence parties put the issue of independence front and centre in our manifestos.

Every election must be an independence election until we have won a mandate to negotiate with the British Government.

I am pleased that even some colleagues who were once implacably opposed to this plan are now on board with it. This should give us all cause for optimism.