Potential Prime Ministers Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak have both expressed their opposition to another vote on Scottish independence as the pair battle to win the backing of a majority of Tory members in the upcoming leadership content. Nicola Sturgeon lost her cool with both candidates, branding them “democracy denying hypocrites” for failing to greenlight indyref2.
Ms Sturgeon told Heart Scotland News: “There’s been comments in the media from both of them in previous years in the last few days.
“Liz Truss talking about the importance of referenda in settling constitutional issues, Rishi Sunak a few years ago saying that there should be a referendum after Brexit – well we are after Brexit.
“They’re hypocrites – changing their position just to suit their narrow, party-political, democracy-denying agendas.
“It’s not about the interests of Scotland, it’s about their own interests.”
Recognising that a Section 30 order – which would devolve the required powers to Holyrood for a referendum to be held – is unlikely to be granted by any occupant of Number 10, the First Minister asked Scotland’s top legal officer to refer a prospective referendum Bill to the UK Supreme Court.
The court has been asked to decide if the Scottish Parliament has the powers to legislate for a referendum, with arguments from both sides due on October 11 and 12.
Ms Sturgeon said: “I hope the outcome of the Supreme Court case will be that the Scottish Parliament can legislate for an advisory referendum to give people the opportunity to have their say on independence.”
She went on to describe both the Foreign Secretary and the former chancellor as “dismal choices” for prime minister.
“A good deal will strengthen the case for the union.”
A clip of Ms Truss, speaking at the 1994 Liberal Democrat party conference – when she was a member of the party – showed her support for votes “on major constitutional issues”.
Mr Sunak told the Spectator podcast this week that another referendum is “not the priority” for people in Scotland.
When asked if she would agree to a request for indyref2 under any circumstances, Ms Truss said this week: “No, The last referendum in 2014 was described as a once-in-a-generation referendum, we’re now in 2022 – that is not a generation ago.”