SNPs Mhairi Black rages at Sunak for refusing Sturgeons indyref2 bid

Sturgeon clashes with reporter over independence questions

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Mhairi Black tonight raged at Rishi Sunak for refusing to give the green light to a second Scottish independence referendum. The SNP’s deputy Westminster leader accused the Prime Minister of running “roughshod” over Nicola Sturgeon’s bid for another vote on breaking up the UK.

Ms Black made the comments when pressed on ITV’s Peston on whether the SNP still plans to use the next general election as a de facto referendum after the Supreme Court ruled that the Scottish Government cannot hold an independence referendum without the UK Government’s consent.

The SNP MP said: “I think the important point to remember is we shouldn’t be in this situation at all, we shouldn’t have to be making claims like this, because the fact of the matter is the SNP and the Scottish Government have been elected numerous times on manifesto commitments and one of them was to hold another referendum.

“And if the UK Government are happy to ignore that mandate, as they’ve shown, and they’re happy to run roughshod over the Scottish Parliament, all they’re doing has proven that this claim that the Scottish Parliament is the most powerful devolved parliament in the world is drivel, it’s nonsense.

“Westminster’s in control and Westminster looks like it’s quite happy to decide when and what we can legislate on, regardless of whether it’s devolved or not.”

Ms Black also hit out at Mr Sunak for blocking the Gender Recognition Reform (Scotland) Bill.

The Bill, passed by the Scottish Government in December, would make it easier for people born in Scotland or classed as “ordinarily resident” there to obtain a Gender Recognition Certificate.

However, the UK Government on Monday torpedoed it due to concerns it could have a “serious adverse impact” on equalities legislation affecting the whole of the UK.

Ms Black said: “We’re not the ones picking a fight. It’s Rishi Sunak who decided to override what was overwhelmingly passed in the Scottish Parliament from cross-party including Conservative MSPs.

“So it’s Rishi Sunak that is using this as a lever which I think is to stoke a cultural war because his Government is out of ideas.

“And I think the most disgraceful thing at the heart of this is for years now with the trans community who are already one of the most marginalised and stigmatised minority groups in the world are now being used as a pawn in a political game.

“And that is not what we wanted to do, that is not what the Scottish Parliament wanted to do. This is with the UK Government and this Prime Minister are choosing to do.”

Ms Black also dismissed claims Mr Sunak would work constructively with Scotland to find a way forward.

She said: “So first of all, as I say they had years to try and work with the Scottish government and they did not engage once. They went to the nuclear option straight away.

“But second of all, it’s just this idea that this has any outside impact. This is an administrative change, and the Equalities Act covers discrimination of all kinds, including your gender identity, your sexual orientation, disabilities, race, and all sorts.”

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