Scottish independence campaigner Dennis Canavan says Prince George should never be King of Scotland

Dennis Canavan says the monarchy is 'a complete anachronism in a modern 21st century democracy'

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The leader of the Scottish independence campaign has said the newborn Prince George of Cambridge should never become King of Scotland.

Scotland goes to the polls next year in a referendum over independence from the rest of the UK. But even if political union is dissolved, the Queen would remain Scotland's monarch.

Today Dennis Canavan, chairman of Yes Scotland, said if Scots vote "Yes", then a second referendum should be held to decide the head of state.

The former Labour MP and Independent MSP told Scotland on Sunday: "The birth of a baby is a great occasion for any family, and I congratulate the Royal Family on this happy event.

"As to the possibility of another King George, it is important to remember that true democracy is based on the sovereignty of the people rather than the sovereignty of any monarch.

"In an independent Scotland, the people of Scotland should therefore be given an early opportunity to decide whether they want to retain the monarchy or choose an elected head of state.

"Personally, I favour the latter option, because a hereditary head of state is an affront to democracy and a complete anachronism in a modern 21st century democracy."

This view jars with the official line from the ruling Scottish National Party, which called for the referendum and backs a continuation of the monarchy in Scotland.

An SNP spokesman said: "The policy of the SNP and Scottish Government is clear that the Queen will be head of state in an independent Scotland, as part of a continuing social union with the rest of the UK - that will be the position if Scotland votes Yes, and indeed all of the main parties in Scotland support the Queen as our head of state.

"Dennis Canavan is perfectly entitled to believe in an elected head of state, and will be free to argue that case in an independent Scotland - just as Labour MPs who support an elected head of state in the UK argue for that position at present."

While a spokesman for Yes Scotland said Mr Canavan's views were a reflection of the variety of views in the independence campaign, he added: "Scotland is currently a monarchy and will remain so unless the people of Scotland decide otherwise.

"Yes Scotland is a broad church with many different views including those that are for a monarchy and those that are not."

A spokesman for Better Together, the anti-independence campaign, said: "It's almost as if the Yes campaign are going out of their way to go against popular opinion in Scotland. Alex Salmond can try and kid people that the SNP support the monarchy, but Dennis Canavan represents the true views of the nationalists."