Nicola Sturgeon seeks support for 'beautiful dream' of independence

The SNP Hold Their Spring Conference

The SNP is to launch a new drive to convince Scots to support the "beautiful dream" of independence, Nicola Sturgeon has announced.

The Scottish First Minster insisted her party would not attempt to "browbeat anyone" into backing the change.

But she revealed a new campaign will get under way this summer in a bid to boost support for leaving the UK.

Scots voted against independence by 55% to 45% when a referendum was held in September 2014.

Ms Sturgeon told the SNP spring conference in Glasgow: "We will achieve independence only when we persuade a majority of our fellow citizens that it is the best future for our country."

She added: "Making and winning that case is our challenge and our opportunity.

"That is why I can tell you today that this summer the SNP will embark on a new initiative to build support for independence."

The SNP leader told activists one of her heroes, former US first lady Eleanor Roosevelt, had said that "the future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams".

Ms Sturgeon added: "Our dream is for Scotland to become independent. To be in the driving seat of our own destiny, to shape our own future.

"And on the basis of equality with our family across the British Isles and our friends across the globe, to play our part in building a better world.

"That is a beautiful dream. And we believe in it."