The SNP does not have a mandate for an independence referendum as a number of Nationalist candidates "scarcely mentioned" the issue during the election, a senior UK cabinet minister has said.
Michael Gove insisted that the UK Government will not agree to a transfer of power which would allow Holyrood to stage a referendum next year in line with Nicola Sturgeon's demands.
The SNP won 48 of Scotland's 59 sets in Thursday's election and insist this is a mandate for a secoind vote on leaving the UK. But the Tories have previously pointed to a campaign message from the SNP's new Gordon MP Richard Thomson which claimed that a vote for him was not a vote for independence.
"A number of Scottish National Party candidates scarcely mentioned independence," Mr Gove told Sky News' Sophy Ridge on Sunday today.
The Aberdeen born minister added that the Nationalists had used "other arguments" in the campaign.
"We had a referendum on whether or not Scotland should be separate from the United Kingdom in 2014," said Mr Gove, who currently serves as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster.
"We were told that that referendum would settle the question of Scottish independence for a generation
"In this general election we have just seen what happens when politicians try to overturn a referendum result. In the same way, we should respect the referendum result of 2014.
"Scotland is stronger in the United Kingdom. you can be proudly Scottish and proudly British together. The best of this country - the National Health Service , the BBC. These are British institutions and therefore we should be proud of what we've achieved together and confident that the United Kingdom is a strong partnership that works in the interests of all.
He added; "We were told in 2014 that that would be a choice for a generation, we're not going to have an independence referendum in Scotland."