COP26: SNP under attack for advert linking independence to summit

The SNP has come under fire for describing Scotland as a “nation in waiting” in a new advert at the start of the global COP26 climate summit in Glasgow.

The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats hit out at Nicola Sturgeon and her party for the full-page newspaper advertisements.

With global leaders travelling to Glasgow for the crucial climate change talks, the First Minister was quoted as saying: “A nation in waiting welcomes the nations of the world.”

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Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and Scotland First Minister Nicola Sturgeon during the opening ceremony for the Cop26 summit at the Scottish Event Campus in Glasgow. Picture: Jeff J Mitchell/PA Wire

Opposition politicians accused the SNP of using the UN summit to push their independence message, with Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman Donald Cameron describing the ad as “disappointing, but very predictable”.

He stated: “Even when world leaders are in Glasgow to focus on the future of the planet, the first instinct of the SNP is to push their divisive independence obsession.

“No matter how big the issue, the SNP just can’t help themselves – they always focus on trying to break up the United Kingdom.

“Nations from around the world are coming together at COP26 in a bid to tackle the climate emergency and yet the SNP – whose failure to meet climate-change targets is dismal – would rather talk about separation.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Alex Cole-Hamilton was also critical of the SNP, accusing the party of being “obsessed with independence” at a time when “the world is coming together with the mission of solving the biggest problem humanity has ever faced”.

He said: “The eyes of billions are on Scotland, the future of our planet hangs in the balance, and Nicola Sturgeon can’t help herself. This advert is a distraction and divisive. It should be withdrawn.”

An SNP spokesman said: “The SNP is proud to be delivering global leadership on tackling the climate emergency.

“We’ll leave others to snipe from the sidelines. We’re 100 per cent focused on creating a greener and fairer Scotland and more sustainable planet.”

A poll carried out by Savanta ComRes on behalf of The Scotsman last week showed support for independence largely unchanged from previous surveys, with 45 per cent of Scots backing Yes, 48 per cent backing No, and 7 per cent stating they do not know.

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