Nicola Sturgeon urged to distance herself from senior SNP MP Pete Wishart

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Nicola Sturgeon has been urged to distance herself from senior Nationalist Pete Wishart who has hit out at the Scottish Government's support for a second Brexit referendum.

The Perth and North Perthshire MP has voiced concerns that the SNP's position could undermine a future Yes vote on Scottish independence referendum by opening the door to a second vote on that issue.

Pete Wishart.

Pete Wishart.

Read more: Nicola Sturgeon: Second Brexit vote does not set precedent for Scottish independence
Nicola Sturgeon said during the SNP conference earlier this month that SNP MPs would back a second referendum if it came before the Commons.

But Mr Wishart, who chairs the Commons' Scottish Affairs committee, has warned that a second vote would set a problematic "precedent" for the Yes campaign in a future referendum campaign, in an article for today's National.

“By enthusiastically buying into this ‘confirmatory’ vote for an EU referendum we weaken our hand in resisting unionist calls for a second vote on a successful indyref," he writes.

"You can just imagine the unionist chorus – ‘you were all for a second confirmatory vote on the EU but not one for independence’?”

“And if they were successful in using this precedent against us, unreconciled unionists would be working non-stop from the day after the referendum to ensure that a successful outcome would be overturned. Every apparatus of state would be deployed and they would ensure that the worst possible ‘deal’ would be offered to the Scottish people in the hope that their union could be rescued.”

Read more: Nicola Sturgeon ‘won't block’ second Brexit referendum
But the comments came under fire from Labour's Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray, a long-term supporter of a People's Vote.

"When it comes to a People's Vote, the SNP's heart has never been in it," he said.

"Everything is seen through the prism of independence for the Nationalists, putting party interest ahead of the country's interest.

"This is typical of the SNP - it's independence at all and any cost.

"We are inching towards a parliamentary majority for a People's Vote, so this raises questions about how Pete Wishart and other SNP MPs will vote in the Commons.

"Nicola Sturgeon repeatedly failed to back a People's Vote, then added the condition of a second independence referendum, and now only backs it with that condition silently in the background. She must urgently distance herself from Pete Wishart's comments and wholeheartedly back a People's Vote."