Yes Scotland board pledges campaign of quality and openness

The Yes Scotland Advisory Board: Andrew Fairlie, Elaine C Smith, Colin Fox, Dan Macdonald, Dennis Canavan, Blair Jenkins, Nicola Sturgeon, Pat Kane, Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh, Sarah-Jane Walls

Yes Scotland's advisory board pledged a campaign of "quality, integrity, transparency and respect" at its inaugural meeting today. Its chair, Dennis Canavan, said he and his fellow board members looked forward to the challenge with "huge enthusiasm and determination to win".

He added: "Today’s inaugural meeting is the start of a long march to victory in the 2014 referendum. We are a team of people from various walks of life who have come together because of our commitment to win the hearts and minds of the people of Scotland to vote yes for independence.

"We believe that an independent Scotland will ensure a better future for Scotland because independence will give the people of Scotland the opportunity to shape that future. The next two years will be a huge challenge and we are all up for it and determined to win.’

The advisory board met for the first time in Edinburgh and was given a full report on the campaign’s early progress by Yes Scotland's chief executive, Blair Jenkins.

During the meeting, the board members were joined by Patrick Harvie MSP, co-convener of the Scottish Greens, who was given a progress update. The party will decide at its annual conference next month whether or not to formally join the Yes campaign.

After the meeting, Mr Jenkins said: "Today marked another major step in our plans to build the largest and most successful community-based campaign in Scotland’s history. The advisory board is packed with people of all different backgrounds, views and skills, bound by a common purpose to deliver independence for Scotland at the referendum.

"We had a very good discussion around the fact that there was lots of room for different points of view within the Yes campaign. All we ask of people who come under the umbrella of the Yes campaign is that they support the core principle - that independence is the right way forward for Scotland."

Among items dealt with by the board at today’s meeting were the approval of Yes Scotland’s corporate governance principles, financial and legal responsibilities and its overall strategy, including the grassroots campaign.

The board consists of: former MP and MSP Dennis Canavan as chair; lawyer Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh; double Michelin star chef Andrew Fairlie; Scottish Socialist Party spokesman Colin Fox; musician and social commentator Pat Kane; businessman Dan Macdonald; actress and commentator Elaine C Smith, who is also convener of the Scottish Independence Convention; Deputy First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and fitness and lifestyle expert and entrepreneur Sarah-Jane Walls.

Sir George Mathewson, former chairman of the Royal Bank of Scotland, is honorary vice-president and adviser to Yes Scotland.

Mr Jenkins said: "Next Tuesday will mark the 15th anniversary of the 1997 devolution referendum and today’s advisory board meeting represents another milestone on the road to securing Scotland’s constitutional development and future.

"The decision the people of Scotland will be asked to make in 2014 is of huge historical, social and cultural importance and over the course of the next two years I am determined that Yes Scotland provide all the information Scots need and deserve to allow them to make the right choice. We will do it with a firm focus on quality, transparency, respect and integrity.

"With the team we have in place, I am confident we can build and deliver a campaign that matches the huge significance of the referendum in 2014."

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