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Nicola Sturgeon clashes with Tory hopefuls over second independence referendum | Politics News

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Nicola Sturgeon has hit back at Conservative leadership contenders vowing to block Scottish independence.

The Scottish first minister sent the “memo” to Tory MPs hoping to replace Theresa May after her government introduced draft legislation for a second independence referendum.

Following claims by Conservative candidates that they would not allow Scotland to move towards independence, Ms Sturgeon posted on Twitter: “Memo to Tory leadership candidates: A majority of Scots – independence supporters and opponents alike – will not accept being told by a Tory PM that we are not ‘allowed’ to choose our own future.”

Home Secretary Sajid Javid giving a speech about violent crime at the Oval Space in London
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Home Secretary Sajid Javid said he would not allow a second vote

The Referendums (Scotland) Bill, which sets outs the rules and regulations for any future vote, was published on Wednesday.

Ms Sturgeon has already promised to hold another independence referendum before the end of the current Scottish parliament term in May 2021.

Her government has seized on the results of last week’s European Parliament elections, where her Scottish National Party (SNP) topped the polls in Scotland, to renew their call for Scotland “to become an independent, European nation”.

But the publication of the bill brought a rebuke by those seeking to replace Mrs May as UK prime minister.

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Home Secretary Sajid Javid tweeted: “If I become PM, I won’t allow a second Scottish independence referendum.

“People stated views clearly in 2014, so there should be no second vote.

“Nicola Sturgeon should spend more time improving public services in Scotland, and less time grandstanding.”

Fellow leadership candidate Rory Stewart, the international development secretary, posted: “In everything we do and everything we say in this leadership race we should remember that the key is to unify the country and not divide the United Kingdom.”

And James Cleverly, a Brexit minister who is also running for the Tory leadership, wrote: “I lived and worked in the Grampians and love Scotland.

“It is family, and I will do everything to stop the break up of the Union.”

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has already called on Tory leadership candidates to show their commitment to keeping Scotland in the UK.

In 2014, Scottish voters chose to remain in the UK by 55% to 45%.

In 2016, the SNP’s manifesto for the Scottish Parliament elections said the Scottish Parliament should have the right to hold another referendum “if there is a significant and material change in the circumstances that prevailed in 2014, such as Scotland being taken out of the EU against our will”.

At the EU referendum later that year, 62% of Scottish voters chose to stay in the EU.

In order for a second Scottish independence referendum to be authorised, the UK government will need to consent to a fresh poll by granting a Section 30 order under the Scotland Act.

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