Nicola Sturgeon rails at ‘sneering, arrogant’ Michael Gove as Cabinet minister vows her ‘reckless’ dream of fresh Scots independence vote WON’T happen before 2024 and demands SNP focuses on Covid recovery
- Michael Gove said Boris Johnson wants to focus on pandemic recovery instead
- ‘It’s foolish to talk about a referendum now,’ The Cabinet Office minister added
- Nicola Sturgeon lashed back at Mr Gove for ‘sneering arrogant’ line to Scots
railed at today after he vowed her ‘reckless’ dream of a fresh independence referendum will not happen until 2024 at the earliest.
The First Minister branded the Cabinet minister ‘sneering and arrogant’ after he insisted there is no chance of another vote on splitting the UK before the next general election.
Mr Gove demanded that thefocuses on recovery from the pandemic instead of its ‘foolish’ separatist obsession.
But Ms Sturgeon said thewas merely ‘building support for independence’ by refusing to authorise a referendum.
‘Every time we hear that kind of sneering, arrogant condescension from Michael Gove – or whatever UK Government minister it may be – completely refusing to accept Scottish democracy, actually the more they just build support for independence,’ he said.
A Scottish independence vote will not happen before the next general election, Michael Gove (pictured) has declared, saying Boris Johnson wanted instead to focus on recovery from the pandemic and economic opportunity
In an interview with the Daily Telegraph Mr Gove said he did not think there was any circumstance in which Mr Johnson would approve a vote being held any time before the 2024 election.
‘It seems to me to be at best reckless, at worst folly, to try to move the conversation on to constitutional division when people expect us to be working together in order to deal with these challenges,’ he said.
Ms Sturgeon has stepped up calls for a second referendum on independence after she was formally reappointed last month.
She claimed her Holyrood election victory was a clear mandate to hold one while admitting the country was divided on the issue.
She has pledged to hold a rerun of the ‘once in a generation’ 2014 vote in the first part of the Scottish parliamentary term, which could mean as early as 2023.
But Mr Gove’s comments go further than previous statements by UK ministers, who have said another referendum will not be granted for now.
Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (pictured on Tuesday) stepped up calls for a second referendum on independence after she was formally reappointed last month
He said he ‘did not think’ there was any circumstance in which Mr Johnson would approve a vote being held any time before the next general election, scheduled for May 2024.
Mr Gove added: ‘The Prime Minister is completely focused on making sure that, for the lifetime of this parliament, we increase economic opportunity, we provide people with the chance to make more of their lives, take control of their futures.’
He also said the Prime Minister should spend more time in Scotland debunking the ‘myth’ that Mr Johnson ‘doesn’t go down well in Scotland’.
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