Speaking ahead of the launch of his new online exhibition, Rankin, who was born in Glasgow and moved to London aged nine, said that while he would be "very upset" if Scotland left the union, he felt that Nicola Sturgeon's handling of the Covid crisis, combined with Brexit, meant that more people were likely to support an independent Scotland.
The photographer, whose parents were both Scottish, said: “My mum and dad are Scottish through and through. I have that Scottish thing, of a little bit of a problem with authority. I want to be my own person. My dad always said to me that they send kids to public school to have an attitude in England, whereas you’re born with one in Glasgow, which I always thought was very apt. I feel Scottish - I would never support England in a football game. I miss Scotland. Unfortunately, now, it’s really hard to travel.
"I’m Labour through and through so to me, Nicola Sturgeon is unfortunately my nemesis, but she’s done an amazing job of it. I can’t really fault her, or the other female leaders. It just shows you that we need a lot more female leaders in the world. Unfortunately, if we do leave the union – and I say ‘we’ because I feel Scottish – I would be very upset. But I can absolutely see why that would happen now because we’ve got a bunch of idiots running our country.”
He added: “I don’t generally get very political, but I just feel she has done a great job of it. Politically, I’m Labour, so Keir Starmer is my guy, but otherwise, I’m just embarrassed for us, I really am. Worldwide embarrassment. I think it’s an awful situation.
"I think this will all lead to more support for Scottish independence. One hundred per cent. I think they’re idiots, thinking that the union would leave Europe and Scottish independence wouldn’t come back again. They’re crazy. I’m just so surprised that anyone in England thought that they would stay. The minute it [Brexit] happened, I said Scotland will be gone in five years. It was so close last time. I think the reality is that Nicola Sturgeon has done a really good job of this and handled it really well and she’s been decisive at the right moments. England is an embarrassment, comparatively.”
Rankin’s latest exhibition, Lost for Words, tells the story of people who have experienced the loss of a loved one, including celebrities Gloria Hunniford, Ashley Walters, Konnie Huq, Malin Andersson, Divina De Campo, John Stapleton and Jeff Brazier, who have joined the campaign to speak about their experience of dealing with grief.
The public will be able to view the digital exhibition, sponsored by Royal London, from today on Lostforwords.royallondon.com. Those wanting to view exclusive film cuts and imagery from the exhibition will be able to join a live event on November 25.