Nicola Sturgeon on Marr

Nicola Sturgeon: ‘case strengthened’


First Minister Nicola Sturgeon insisted that the campaign for an independent Scotland was “bigger than any one man” and will be revealing more about her plans before the Brexit deadline in March.

Ms Sturgeon declined for legal reasons to elaborate on the criminal charges against her predecessor Alex Salmond, telling a television interviewer:  “I will not comment on any aspect of the police investigation. That is not a matter of choice necessarily, those are the obligations I like everybody else are under to respect due process.

But she rejected the suggestion that the charges against Mr Salmond had damaged the independence cause, claiming that Brexit had “strengthened that case immeasurably”.

She added: “No, I don’t think it has an impact on the future political and constitutional direction of Scotland.

“The case for independence is bigger than any one man. It’s bigger than any one woman. It’s not about individual personalities, it’s about what is best for the country now and in the longer term. It’s about how we put ourselves in the best position to protect our interests and build prosperity and fairness in Scotland.”

The First Minister has promised to reveal details of her timetable for a second independence referendum “within weeks”.

Ms Sturgeon has thrown her support behind Labour MP Yvette Cooper’s Article 50 amendment, which the SNP in Westminster will back on Tuesday.

If the amendment is selected by the Speaker, MPs will vote on whether the Prime Minister must seek a delay to the planned Brexit date of 29 March if no deal has been approved by 26 February.

SNP Westminster leader Ian Blackford is also expected to table an amendment on Monday calling on Mrs May to note the Scottish Parliament, Welsh Assembly and Commons all voted “overwhelmingly” to reject her deal.

Ms Sturgeon said: “Article 50 should be extended, there should be a request made for that and the SNP were the first party to call for that.”