Sturgeon heckled by unionist protester in Aberdeen

FIRST Minister Nicola Sturgeon was heckled by a lone unionist protester as she campaigned in Aberdeen, in the shadow of the Gordon Highlanders monument in the Castlegate.

Nicola Sturgeon in Aberdeen today, at Castlegate. Picture: Hemedia

The monument bears an inscription from wartime Conservative prime minister Winston Churchill stating that the Highlanders are “the finest regiment in the world”.

The protester jostled with security men and SNP activists, who repeatedly cheered to drown out his unionist chants of “UK OK” and “Nicola Sturgeon, don’t rip up our flag”.

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Ms Sturgeon reignited the independence debate last night by refusing to rule out proposing another referendum in the SNP’s 2016 Holyrood election manifesto.

She reiterated her message on the streets of Aberdeen today.

“If people decide that there shouldn’t be another referendum there won’t be another referendum, regardless of what I say or any other politician says,” she said.

“I will consider these things when I am writing our manifesto, where things are in issue, right now I am focusing on the 2015 General Election.”

“I’m not planning another referendum.

“I was simply making the point last night that I am not going to start writing the 2016 manifesto before we have had the 2015 election.

“For there to be another referendum, firstly there would have to be evidence of a change of circumstances and a change in public opinion, and then it would have to be in a manifesto that people would have to vote for.”

She added: “I take the view that the people are in charge of these things.

“I cannot force a referendum on the people against their will. It’s entirely up to the Scottish people.

“Politicians don’t decide these things. Politicians can decide whether to propose them, but it is ultimately the Scottish people who decide.

“The people are in charge - that is one of the big messages of the referendum.”