Scottish independence: Yes Scotland launch top team

Yes Scotland, the principle campaign group for a yes vote at the independence referendum, has announced five new executive directors.

The organisation’s chief executive Blair Jenkins OBE revealed that Jacqueline Caldwell, Susan Stewart, Shirley-Anne Somerville, Stan Blackley and Ian Dommett would make up the team.

Jacqueline Caldwell was previously a business manager for the RBS group and she becomes the director of operations. Of her new role she said: “’I am delighted to have the opportunity to contribute to this historic campaign and to play my part in helping to shape the future of Scotland.”

New director of communications, Susan Stewart, is a former senior diplomat who has been director of corporate communications at Glasgow University for the last seven years.

Shirley-Anne Somerville was a SNP MSP in the Lothians for four years until she lost her seat at the 2011 Holyrood elections. Since then she has been working as a strategist for the party and she will be the director of communities. Stan Blackley, ex-chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, will be Ms Somervile’s deputy.

The director of marketing will be Ian Dommett who has a background in the area including playing a key role in devising and delivering the marketing strategy that helped return the SNP government to Holyrood with an overall majority last year.

Mr Jenkins insisted that the five new appointments provided Yes Scotland with the strongest possible team. He said: “I said when I took on this role that I wanted a team of the highest calibre to match such an important and historic event in Scotland’s future direction. I can say with certainty that with these appointments this goal has been achieved.

“I am thrilled and delighted to welcome aboard Jacqui, Susan, Shirley-Anne, Ian and Stan, marking another major step in building the country’s largest ever community-based campaign.

“Each one of them has a proven track record in his or her field of expertise and I am confident that with their input and commitment we can deliver a Yes vote in 2014.”

The announcement comes as the group prepares to participate in the first national march and rally for independence on 22 September. The independently organised event aims to give a platform to voices from across the political and social spectrum that back a yes vote in the independence referendum. Organisers plan to hold similar events in September 2013 and 2014 in the run up to the vote.

The inaugural event which will take place in Edinburgh will feature speakers such as first minister Alex Salmond, Green party leader Patrick Harvie MSP and a host of current and former MSP’s including Margo MacDonald, Dennis Canavan and Colin Fox.

Co-organiser Jeff Duncan was keen to stress that the rally will be a non-partisan affair. He said: “The event will bring together people from all political parties including the SNP, Greens, SSP, Labour and even some Liberal and Conservative voters whose views are not catered for within those parties.”

The rally and march follows a recent campaign weekend by the Better Together group, which is campaigning for a no vote, which held a number of smaller events in towns and cities throughout Scotland.

Original article here – http://www.scottishtimes.com/scottish_independence_yes_scotland_launch_top_team

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