Nicola Sturgeon: Tories '˜running scared' over indyref2

Nicola Sturgeon has challenged the Conservatives to set out their stance on a second Scottish independence referendum as she demanded to know if the Tories are 'running scared'.

The First Minister made the call after she shocked Westminster with Monday’s announcement that she is to seek the authority to hold a fresh ballot on independence in the wake of the Brexit vote.

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She defended her position, saying leaving the UK would be a “disaster” and she has a “duty to allow people to opt for something better”.

MSPs will vote next Wednesday on whether they will support Ms Sturgeon’s request for a section 30 order from Westminster, which would be needed for Holyrood to hold a legally binding ballot.

At First Minister’s Questions on Thursday, Ms Sturgeon issued a direct challenge to the Conservatives, demanding: “If on Wednesday next week this Parliament votes for an independence referendum to give the people of Scotland a choice over their own future, will the Conservatives respect the will of this Parliament or are the Conservatives running scared?”

More to follow.