Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove (pictured) has admitted that his Tory UK government will not stand in the way of an independence referendum ‘if there is a settled will’ for one to be held.
The admission has prompted calls from the SNP for Boris Johnson to recognise the settled will of the people of Scotland expressed in an election just over two months ago.
In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Mail, Gove added that ‘the principle that the people of Scotland… can ask that question again is there.’
Commenting, SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford MP said:
“It should not be news that the Tories are finally waking up to the fact that the people of Scotland have expressed their democratic wishes in an election that they want their future to be put into their hands.
“The fundamental point Michael Gove missed is that the people of Scotland have spoken and expressed their settled will that they want to hold a referendum when they elected a majority of independence supporting MSPs to the Scottish Parliament just over two months ago.
“If Boris Johnson continues to ignore the mandate given by the people of Scotland to hold a referendum then he will continue to tell the people of Scotland that their opinion does not matter.
“That will only push support for independence up.
“We face the prospect of another decade of Tory austerity, which we are already seeing the start of as they cut vital support to hardworking families at a time when they need it the most.
“The people of Scotland must be given a choice to take a different path.
“Ultimately, we cannot trust the Tories to protect Scotland and so the only way we can do that is by becoming an independent country.”