‘Focus on recovery!’ Nicola Sturgeon shamed as SNP threaten UK with independence battle

SNP should be focused on 'recovery' says Nadine Dorries

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Speaking to BBC Breakfast, Tory minister for Mental Health Nadine Dorries slammed Nicola Sturgeon for not focusing enough on Scotland’s Covid recovery. She labelled efforts by the First Minister and the SNP to prioritise a second Scottish independence referendum over coronavirus recovery as “divisive, expensive” and “simply is not on our radar”. Ms Dorries went on to call for unity not division and get the UK out of the pandemic before making decisions on the future of the Union.

Ms Dorries was asked by BBC host Louise Minchin Nicola Sturgeon has a mandate for a second independence referendum now there is a majority of pro-independence MSP’s in Holyrood.

The minister replied: “Nicola Sturgeon, when people asked her in Scotland, we are not concerned about independence now, what we are concerned about is getting out the pandemic, who should we vote for – Nicola Sturgeon said vote SNP.

“The UK is leading the world, that’s the UK, that’s all parts of the UK.

“What we should be doing is focusing on the recovery. Focusing on the NHS waiting list and making sure that 10,000 backlog of those people get the treatment they need. In getting the children the education they need. And sorting out the backlog in our courts.”

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She went on to say the recovery is about “jobs, jobs, jobs” adding “that is what we need to be focused on, that is what the recovery is about.” 

But Ms Dorries furiously stressed: “The recovery is not about legislating for another divisive, expensive referendum – it simply is not on our radar!

“All we are focused on as a government, and frankly all Scotland should be focused on, is the recovery from the pandemic.”

The Tory MP slammed: “We are still in the tail end of the pandemic in the UK. Globally, the world is still in the grips of the pandemic. We should not be talking about a referendum!”

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Ms Dorries concluded: “We should be talking about moving forward as a nation, as a UK, and recovery out of the pandemic. Not a referendum!”

The debate over whether Scotland has a mandate for a second Scottish independence referendum now there is a majority of pro-independence MSPs in Holyrood hit breaking point on Sunday as Westminster’s SNP leader Ian Blackford told LBC that Scotland has more of a right to a referendum than Boris did to Brexit.

In an extraordinary statement, Mr Blackford said: “Let’s look at the context of the UK and Boris Johnson, [he] is deemed to have won the election in the UK in December 2019… he had a vote share of 43.5 percent.

“Nobody doubted that he had the right across the UK to deliver Brexit on that basis! We’ve just won this election and there is a pro-independence majority in the parliament!”

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The SNP fell one seat short of winning a Holyrood majority undermining their hopes of securing another referendum on leaving the UK. 

But as the Scottish Greens also support independence there will still be a nationalist majority in the Scottish parliament.

In total the SNP took 64 Scottish Parliament seats, a rise of one on their previous figure, while the Tories got 31, Labour 22, the Green’s eight, and the Liberal Democrats four.

Combined, the three main unionist parties of the Tories, Labour, and Liberal Democrats took more constituency votes than their nationalist rivals.

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