SNP number two Keith Brown has been told to get his story straight on a second independence referendum – after he insisted yesterday he’d never said it was a once-in-a-generation vote.
He made the claim on Sky News, saying of the pledge: “It wasn’t something I’ve ever said.”
However, it has now emerged that ahead of the 2014 vote he declared: “The eyes of the world will be on Scotland and we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase what we have to offer as a modern country.”
The contradiction has been attacked by the Scottish Conservatives, who said the SNP’s deputy leader should come clean to voters on the issue.
Ahead of the independence referendum, Mr Brown – along with past and present nationalist leaders Alex Salmond and Nicola Sturgeon – consistently told the people of Scotland it was a one-off vote.
Since the defeat, however, they have continued to agitate for a re-run.
Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman Adam Tomkins said:
“Keith Brown needs to get his story straight on another independence referendum.
“This exposes the deceit that runs right from the top of the SNP down.
“Before the referendum, they were all happy to say it was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“After a convincing defeat, they immediately rowed back, to the point where Keith Brown’s now denying having ever said it at all.
“Voters will see right through this dishonesty.
“Instead of pretending to have selective memories, the nationalists would be better served taking the threat of another vote off the table completely.”
Notes to editors:
Below is the transcript of the exchange between SNP deputy leader Keith Brown and Sky News:
STUDIO: Your party said it was a once in a generation referendum, didn't you?
KEITH BROWN: No I think Alex Salmond was asked about how long it would be for a further referendum, and he thought it was a once in a generation opportunity. That wasn't on the ballot paper, it was not a decision taken by anybody, it wasn't something I've ever said, and there is no way you can stop a people from taking the principle of self-determination and taking the future into their own hands. It's a universally acknowledged principle at the UN.
However, in 2013 he declared: “In 2014, the eyes of the world will be on Scotland and we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to showcase what we have to offer as a modern country.”