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Former SNP spin chief Kevin Pringle says ‘active’ independence campaign is yet to begin

The Stooshie: Independence case still being built

A former senior adviser to the SNP Government says there hasn’t been any “active campaigning” for independence, one year before Nicola Sturgeon wants to have another referendum.

Kevin Pringle told our politics podcast, The Stooshie, that the focus has been on the process of a vote rather than the substance.

In the latest edition, the former spin chief, widely seen as the brains behind the SNP’s earlier success and 2014 campaign, says a new prospectus for independence will need to be published.

He hailed Ms Sturgeon’s record-length term in office, reflects on the party’s policy legacy and offers his view on whether the first minister will lead the party to the next election.

‘Building the case for independence’

Asked if he thinks there will be a referendum in 2023, Mr Pringle said: “For me the most important thing is it takes place over the course of this parliamentary term.

“I believe that will be the case.”

Legislation to underpin a referendum will come soon and be passed at Holyrood, he said.

Then a new “white paper” which sets out the prospectus for an independent state would be published.

“That will start to do what hasn’t really be done now – really you could argue since the last referendum – which is to start arguing and building the case for independence itself.

“Really what we’ve had since, let’s say since the Brexit referendum reignited the case for independence in Scotland, we’ve basically had a debate about or a campaign for a referendum.

“There hasn’t been any active campaigning for independence. That will start to change, quickly I think.

“It will be underpinned by those documents.”

The starting point of around 45% for independence is a “very high base” to build on, he said.

Who is Kevin Pringle?

Mr Pringle, originally from Perth, went to Aberdeen University and was credited with being among the most influential back-room strategists for the SNP.

He helped steer the party under Alex Salmond to the landslide victory in 2011.

That success paved the way for the 2014 referendum, which he oversaw with Ms Sturgeon.


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