Sturgeon made error in trying to ‘weaponise Brexit’, says Davidson

Ruth Davidson has criticised the First Minister for her tactics following the Brexit vote. Picture: TSPL

Ruth Davidson has criticised the First Minister for her tactics following the Brexit vote. Picture: TSPL

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SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon made a basic error in trying to “weaponise Brexit”, Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has said.

The MSP said that Ms Sturgeon also made a “huge mistake” in pretending that a remain vote is a “proxy for independence”.

The Tory also agreed that nationalism is seen to be “on the wane”.

She told LBC Radio: “I think that Nicola Sturgeon has made a couple of very basic errors and I think the first one that she did was to try and weaponise Brexit and showed that all she cares about is independence because there are lots of issues that Brexit throws up but none of them are answered by splitting up the UK which is Scotland’s biggest market, closest ally and greatest friend.

“And I think the second issue that she has done which she has made a huge mistake on is trying to pretend that everybody who voted remain, that remain vote is somehow a proxy for independence.

“Now there are plenty of people like me who voted remain who campaigned quite hard for remain, who are absolutely furious that she’s trying to pretend that I would somehow say that that vote meant we should break up the United Kingdom when it meant nothing of the sort. She’s suffered a really strong backlash about that.”

Asked whether nationalism is seen to be on the wane, she said: “I think it is.”

She added: “I think in Scotland to have a general election in 2015 that was just six months after such a seismic thing as the referendum, of course that question was one of the biggest questions in there and I think that you will see in this election quite a big amount of movement in the polls and in the vote.”

A poll published on Friday suggested the Conservatives are on course to win seven seats from the SNP in the General Election.

A projection from a YouGov poll for The Times Scotland gave the SNP 47 seats, the Tories eight, the Liberal Democrats three and Labour still with only one MP after the June 8 vote.

Voting intentions from the Times poll have the SNP leading on 41%, the Tories on 28%, with Labour at 18%, Lib Dems 7%, Greens 3% and Ukip on 2% across Scotland.

More than 1,000 people took part in the survey between April 24 and 27.

Ms Davidson said she will be looking to win all 59 seats in Scotland by the time the election comes round because she gets “so into the campaigns”.

She added: “We are on the march in Scotland and we can make a big, big difference to the electoral landscape here.”

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