New independence party call a "direct challenge" to Nicola Sturgeon

A senior Nationalist MP's claim that a new independence option at next year's Holyrood election could hasten a referendum has been branded a "direct challenge" to Nicola Sturgeon.

A new independence party would be a "direct challenge" to Nicola Sturgeon
A new independence party would be a "direct challenge" to Nicola Sturgeon

Shadow Scottish Secretary Ian Murray made the accusation after East Lothian MP Kenny MacAskill suggested that a pro-independence option could be placed on the "regional list" in next year's vote to help secure a pro-independence majority.

"If a referendum is denied by Westminster intransigence, then this is a way to achieve it," Mr MacAskill said in a Scotsman’s column.

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But Mr Murray, the MP for Edinburgh, claimed it shows that the SNP plans to make the election next May about the constitution when Coronavirus recovery should be the priority.

Mr Murray said: “This is clearly a direct challenge to Nicola Sturgeon’s authority from a sitting MP.

“But what’s most telling is that Mr MacAskill and his supporters want to make next year’s election all about constitutional division.

“When you scratch under the surface it’s always about independence for the SNP, when it should be about the NHS and jobs.

“The priority should be economic recovery and protecting our health service, not dividing the people of Scotland once again.”

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