Scottish independence activists demand Nicola Sturgeon ‘use the mandate’

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Pro-independence activists are demanding that Nicola Sturgeon “use the mandate” at the SNP autumn conference by calling a second referendum.

A fringe group, Scotland Land of the Brave Saor Alba, has shared an invite with its followers to attend the party’s showpiece event in October at the Glasgow SEC with the hashtag #UsetheMandate.

Thousands of pro-independence marchers head through Glasgow in May 2018. Picture: John Devlin

Thousands of pro-independence marchers head through Glasgow in May 2018. Picture: John Devlin

The First Minister said in 2017 that if the SNP won a majority of Scottish seats at Westminster it would convert her already “cast-iron” mandate for a referendum into a “triple lock” one.

But a disappointing performance at that year’s general election - which saw the SNP lose 21 of the seats the party previously won in 2015 - saw Ms Sturgeon “reset” her plans.

Sir John Curtice, the country’s leading pollster, last week predicted a second referendum on Scottish independence was “unlikely” to take place in the next five years.

With the Scottish Government forced to deal with the uncertainty surrounding Brexit, another vote on the constitution would be “kicked in the long grass”, he said.

READ MORE: Nicola Sturgeon ‘will kick IndyRef2 into the long grass’

Independence activists regularly take to the streets to make their demands for a second referendum known. A march in Glasgow in May was hailed by organisers as the biggest of its kind to date, with more than 40,000 estimated to have taken part.

Scottish Conservative MSP Maurice Golden said: “The SNP’s famous discipline is beginning to wilt, and it looks set to do so in spectacular style with a demo outside its own conference.

“Nicola Sturgeon has marched her independence diehards to the top of the hill and now they’re furious about being left in limbo.

“She should do what’s in Scotland’s best interests – march them back down and take another referendum off the table altogether.”

An SNP spokesman said: “As the First Minister has made clear, she will provide an update this autumn. Given the Tories’ shambolic mishandling of things, the terms of Brexit are currently far from clear – but it is positive to see people from across the country continue to campaign passionately for independence.”

READ MORE: The massive elephant in the room at the SNP’s conference