Nicola Sturgeon urged to set out indyref2 plan before election

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Ruth Davidson has urged Nicola Sturgeon to spell out her “next steps” on independence before the public goes to the polls on June 8.

The Scottish Conservative leader said Ms Sturgeon had a “duty” to make clear her plans for a second independence referendum so that voters can make a judgement on them at the General Election.

The call came in response to the revelation that the SNP leader intends to delay outlining how she intends to progress her plans for indyref2 until after the election.

Ms Sturgeon has promised to set out the “next steps” she intends to take in order to hold an independence poll between autumn next year and spring 2019.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon delays setting out her indyref2 plans

The pledge was made after Theresa May refused to agree to her timetable saying “now is not the time” for another vote.

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson said the First Minitser has a 'duty' to outline her plans. Picture: John Devlin

Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson said the First Minitser has a 'duty' to outline her plans. Picture: John Devlin

Originally, Ms Sturgeon indicated she would reveal her plan after the Easter break. It then emerged that she would wait until after the May 4 local election.

READ MORE: SNP MP calls on Greens not to stand in Tory target seats

Ms Davidson said: “The First Minister could not have been clearer last month - she told the people of Scotland she would set out her next steps on her unwanted referendum plan after Easter and keep us all informed.
“Yet now that a General Election has been called she has gone back on her word.

“The reason is obvious: as always with the SNP they desperately try to play down independence in an election campaign because they know it’s unpopular.
“Her claim earlier this week that her campaign isn’t about independence is a joke.

“But her refusal to set out her position clearly before we vote is deadly serious.
“The Prime Minister and I have set our own position on this matter very clearly and people can have their say on our judgement on June 8.
“How can it be right that people should vote on June 8 without a clue what the First Minister plans to say on the single biggest issue facing Scotland come June 9.
“Don’t we all have a right to know?

“Nicola Sturgeon has a duty to set out her position as promised so we can all take a view. The position of the Scottish Conservatives is crystal clear.
“A second referendum isn’t needed and it isn’t wanted. We will continue to stand up against the SNP’s plans - which is why more and more people are turning to us at this election.”

Nicola Sturgeon branded opposition claims that she is avoiding talking about independence in the General Election campaign as “ridiculous”.

The SNP leader said the June 8 ballot was about electing “strong voices” to fight Scotland’s corner at Westminster.

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has said Ms Sturgeon risks becoming a “laughing stock” by distancing her campaign from a drive for a second vote on leaving the UK.

The First Minister’s spokesman has said it is unlikely Ms Sturgeon would outline her next steps towards another referendum by the spring of 2019 before the general election.

She had planned to update Holyrood on her plans after Easter, after her request for powers to hold a vote was rejected by the UK Government.

Speaking at a campaign event in Stirling for the local elections on May 4, Ms Sturgeon dismissed claims she was avoiding the topic of independence.

“My opponents are ridiculous. They go from accusing me of talking about independence too much to accusing me of not talking about it enough,” she said.

“The issue at this election campaign is quite clear - how do we make sure we have strong voices arguing Scotland’s corner at Westminster and also backing our Scottish Parliament.

“On independence, the mandate that we sought and won last year in the Scottish election is there, the Scottish Parliament has now voted to back that mandate, so the question in this election is do we allow the Tories to determine who chooses Scotland’s future or do we send a clear message that it should be our Parliament and the people of Scotland who determine Scotland’s future?”

Ms Sturgeon, who has identified the General Election as a “two-horse race” between the SNP and the Tories, also moved to frame the vote as a choice between Theresa May’s party at Westminster and the Scottish Parliament.