MSP rips into Sturgeon over breaking up union as Scots are in pain

IndyRef2: Breaking up UK 'not a priority' says MSP

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While Nicola Sturgeon was campaigning for Scottish independence in Edinburgh, an opposition MSP came at her in Holyrood for failing to do her job and focusing on more pressing issues like the energy, NHS and cost-of-living crises. Alex Cole-Hamilton launched into a tirade against the First Minister who was absent in the parliamentary session because of the Supreme court’s ruling. 

Speaking in Holyrood, LibDem MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “I have lost count of how many times the First Minister has launched a new independence campaign. 

“Each with less energy and momentum than the last. 

“While Nicola Sturgeon goes through the motions, people wait days for an ambulance, months for NHS treatment and years for lifeline ferries. 

“Breaking up the United Kingdom simply isn’t a priority for those people who are opening their bills with dread or living in pain.”

Mr Cole-Hamilton said: “My goodness, teachers are on strike tomorrow!

“Scotland needs new hope, not old division.

“So why won’t this SNP-Green Government finally focus on what matters instead of this arrogant, tired and divisive charade?”

The MSP’s outburst of anger came as a “disappointed” Nicola Sturgeon swallowed a bitter pill after losing her case in the Supreme Court. 

Hours after the Supreme Court’s ruling, she and her SNP party announced that they would seek another legal route to hold a second independence referendum.

The SNP leader confirmed she would fight for independence in the next General Election, referring to it as a de facto referendum on independence. An SNP victory would be a vote to secede from the United Kingdom.

Nicola Sturgeon will form a national executive committee in the new year to plan a special party conference to discuss and agree on the details of a proposed de facto referendum.

In a speech shortly after the Supreme Court’s ruling, Ms Sturgeon told reporters in Edinburgh: “The Supreme Court has interpreted a Westminster law that seems to say Scottish democracy on this question is blocked.”

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She added: “I either give up on Scottish democracy or find another route.”

The SNP’s options appear limited as the Scotland Act states Holyrood needs a section 30 order from Westminster to have the power to draft a referendum bill and hold a vote north of the border.

The First Minister tweeted: “A law that doesn’t allow Scotland to choose our own future without Westminster consent exposes as myth any notion of the UK as a voluntary partnership & makes case for Indy.”

At PMQs, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak welcomed the “clear and definitive ruling” of the Supreme Court as he stressed the importance of “working together” with the Scottish government on a range of issues from the economy to the war in Ukraine.

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