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Ex-MSP Michael Russell to lead new IndyRef campaign

© PA Wire/Press Association ImagesSupporters from either side during the 2014 referendum campaign
Supporters from either side during the 2014 referendum campaign

The SNP has appointed Michael Russell as the party’s a new independence campaign director.

Russell was the Scottish Government’s cabinet secretary for the constitution before retiring as an MSP this year.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon tweeted that Russell would “oversee the development of the party’s independence campaign, as we look ahead to #indyref2 later in this parliament”.

She said he had been appointed “political director of the HQ independence unit”.

The appointment follows the resignation of former SNP MSP Marco Biagi as campaign strategist for the SNP independence taskforce set up in January.

Biagi later said that “the best job offer I’ve ever had turned out to be worst job I’ve ever had”.

Russell’s appointment was approved by the SNP’s National Executive Committee yesterday.

The meeting also discussed the whereabouts of £600,000 raised by activists to help pay for a new referendum campaign.

The party had said the funds would be ringfenced, but its most recent accounts showed just £96,000 in the bank at the end of 2019.

But a spokesperson said that “every penny” from the activists would be used to secure and win an independence referendum.