Nicola Sturgeon accused of ‘putting SNP before pandemic’ in plans for Indyref

Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of putting “party before pandemic” by planning for a second independence referendum before the coronavirus crisis is over.

Douglas Ross, the Scottish Conservative leader, will today say that the First Minister is willing to risk Scotland’s economic recovery by ramping up the SNP’s push for another referendum before Christmas

The Tory leader will use a speech on Monday to respond to renewed SNP demands for a second re-run vote and the threat to legislate for a referendum without the Section 30 powers from the UK government.

Ross hit out at the so-called wildcat referendum plan contained in Constitutional Secretary Mike Russell’s 11-point roadmap to independence.

In reports on Sunday the SNP constitution minister said another referendum could be held by Christmas if, as expected, the nationalists win a pro-independence majority at the Holyrood election.

In comment before his speech Ross, the MP for Moray, described the timing of the SNP plan as “reckless and irresponsible”.

He said: “We are living under a national lockdown, in the middle of a global pandemic with the Scottish Fiscal Commission predicting our economy and job market won’t return to normal until about 2024. “How can the Scottish Government credibly argue that this announcement is above party politics and in the interests of all of Scotland?

“Nicola Sturgeon is back to being the SNP leader. “There is no getting away from it, She has put party before pandemic, and risked damaging trust in the government when it is needed most.”

Scottish politics

Ross added:“You can imagine the sheer outrage that people across the country felt when the SNP launched a new indyref2 taskforce and an 11-point plan to deliver a Catalonia-style referendum.”

“It has brought politics and that same, old divisive constitutional debate back to the fore. It is the duty of all politicians to come together and focus on the national interest in a time of crisis.”

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