Nicola Sturgeon lashes out at ‘Boris and his band of Brexiteers’ as she ramps up Scottish independence referendum drive saying ‘the sooner the better’ ahead of SNP conference speech
- Nicola Sturgeon is ramping up her Scottish referendum drive despite pandemic
- She will tell SNP conference vote should be ‘early’ after May Holyrood elections
- Trolled Boris Johnson saying he was ‘inadvertent advocate’ for independence
The First Minister insisted ‘the sooner the better’ on the timing of a new vote on splitting up the UK, saying Scotland needed the powers to ‘rebuild’ after coronavirus in the way its people wanted.
And she trolled Mr Johnson over his unpopularity north of the border, swiping that he is ‘inadvertently an advocate’ for the separatist case.
The comments came in an interview ahead of Ms Sturgeon’s keynote speech to the SNP conference, being held virtually this year amid the pandemic.
Ms Sturgeon has been escalating her demands for a referendum, despite Mr Johnson insisting he will not give permission after the ‘once in a generation’ contest in 2014.
She has already said she has never been so certain that Scotland will become independent.
Nicola Sturgeon (pictured today) insisted ‘the sooner the better’ on the timing of a new vote on splitting up the UK, saying Scotland needed the powers to ‘rebuild’ after coronavirus in the way its people wanted
This morning she said she was ‘confident’ of prevailing, pointing to polls showing a surge in support for breaking up the union north of the border, with one survey showing record 58 per cent backing.
The SNP leader declined to give a specific date, despite other senior colleagues saying a vote should happen within months of Holyrood elections in May.
‘I want to see it in the early part of the next term of the Scottish Parliament, rather than the later part,’ she told Sky News.
Ms Sturgeon said it was ‘really important’ that Scotland can rebuild from coronavirus in the way that its people want, rather ‘in the image of Boris Johnson and his band of Brexiteers’.
‘We are still like other countries the world over in the midst of a global pandemic,’ she insisted.
‘My energies are focused on that.’
Pressed again on the timing of a referendum, she added: I’m not ruling anything out, I’m not ruling anything in on that.’
In her speech this afternoon, Ms Sturgeon will announce a 100million fund to help hard up Scots this winter, including direct payments of £100 to all families with children in receipt of free school meals.
The Scottish First Minister will say the coronavirus pandemic has shown that it should no longer be accepted that problems with poverty and inequality are ‘inevitable or insoluble’.
Ms Sturgeon trolled Boris Johnson (pictured in Downing Street this morning) over his unpopularity north of the border, swiping that he is ‘inadvertently an advocate’ for the separatist case
In addition, it will help pay to get older people connected online and provide help for the homeless.
While the First Minister will stress Scotland does not have to be independent for the SNP government to ‘start doing the right things’, she will complain that Westminster’s control over much of the social security system north of the border makes it harder for ministers to act.
She will state: ‘We must make sure we are working to the right plan, with all the tools we need to do the job.’