Nicola Sturgeon has been accused of playing to the SNP gallery ahead of the party conference by refusing to rule out another independence referendum.
Appearing on Sunday political television shows, the First Minister repeatedly failed to confirm there would be no new vote before the 2021 Scottish elections.
That’s despite recent polls showing the nationalists would lose their pro-independence majority in the next parliament, and no public appetite for another divisive referendum.
The Scottish Conservatives accused her of trying to appease SNP membership ahead of the conference which starts today, and failing to act as a First Minister for the whole of Scotland.
Scottish Conservative deputy leader Jackson Carlaw said:
“Nicola Sturgeon had a real opportunity today to act as First Minister and rule out a divisive second referendum.
“Instead, she and her fellow ministers have decided to play to the SNP gallery.
“It’s deeply disappointing and it shows clearly that the SNP leadership is now more concerned about appeasing its own party membership than it is about doing what’s right for the country.
“Nicola Sturgeon is increasingly out of touch and out of ideas.
“She has panicked at opinion polls showing she will lose her majority and any chance of a second referendum at the next election.”