FORMER Labour council stalwarts in Glasgow have urged party supporters to back independence.

Sir Charles Gray, former Leader of Strathclyde Regional Council, and Alex Mosson, former Lord Provost of Glasgow, told a meeting in Glasgow last night that independence would be the path to the kind of progressive country Labour voters want to see.

Actress Elaine C Smith chaired the meeting with former Labour MP Denis Canavan also speaking at the event.

Sir Charles, who was in charge of Strathclyde Regional Council from 1986 to 1992, was unable to speak at the event in person due to illness, but a statement was read out on his behalf.

He said independence was the way for Labour to lead Scottish politics again.

"I firmly believe that a yes vote in September will be the making of Scotland as well as the means for Scottish Labour to reclaim its place at the forefront of Scottish Politics and Scottish life," he said.

"My appeal to all Labour supporters is to grab this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and vote for an independent Scotland so we can start to build the kind of country we all want for our families and future generations, built on social justice and fairness.

"I have always been in favour of home rule for Scotland and I believe that a Yes vote will help us complete the journey that began with devolution."

Yes Scotland is a multi-party organisation, with the SNP playing the biggest role, but the Greens and Scottish Socialist parties also have members on its advisory board alongside non-politicians.

There is an understanding that if the independence campaign is to achieve its goal of convincing a majority of Scotland to vote for independence, the current pro-independence party supporters are not enough and it needs a big number of traditional Labour supporters to back the idea.

WHILE the Labour party is campaigning for a no vote some members and former office holders like Mr Canavan, Mr Gray and Mr Mosson have come out to publicly state their ambition for Scotland to be independent.

Mr Mosson, who was Lord Provost of Glasgow between 1999 and 2003, said the referendum was not a fight between the SNP and Labour but was about Scotland's right to self determination.

He said: "Here in Scotland we have a massive wealth of skills, expertise and innovation and we have the potential to compete and succeed on the world stage, but there is no doubt that the Westminster system is holding us back and not allowing us to fully realise that fantastic potential as a forward-looking, progressive nation.

"This is not the time for party politics, it's far too important for that.

"People need to realise that this is not about the SNP, it's about the people of Scotland and our right to self-determination, and I have got no doubt that it's the right thing to do for Labour supporters."