Boris warned: Sturgeon deputy will ‘hold him to account’ – indyref2 support ‘not a blip’

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East Renfrewshire MP Kirsten Oswald was elected as SNP’s new deputy leader at Westminster this week. Ian Blackford, the SNP leader in the Commons, praised his party’s new deputy and said: “This is an important time as we deal with the COVID-19 crisis and look to build a fairer Scotland.


“With the threat of a Tory Brexit growing, and crucial decisions over the economic emergency, Kirsten will play a key role as we hold the Tory Government to account.”

It comes after fellow MP Kirsty Blackman stepped down from the role after three years last week after admitting that she “struggled” with the impact of lockdown on her mental health.

Ms Oswald was first elected as MP for East Renfrewshire in 2015, ousting the then Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy from the seat.

She lost the constituency to the Tories in 2017 but then won it back in December 2019.

She said: “I’m delighted to have been elected SNP Westminster deputy leader at this critical time, and I look forward to working in this new role with our strong team of SNP MPs.

“As we continue to tackle coronavirus, SNP MPs will press the UK Government to deliver the financial powers and support that people, public services and businesses in Scotland need to manage this unprecedented emergency and secure a strong recovery.

“This crisis has exposed the deep inequality caused by decades of Westminster cuts.

“There can be no return to business as normal.

“As Scotland seeks to build a fairer society and escape the growing threat of a Tory Brexit, the case for independence has never been stronger.”

Meanwhile, political polling expert Mark Diffley added support for an independent Scotland is “not just a blip”.

Speaking during a Webinar for the John Smith Centre, hosted by former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale, he said there was a clear pattern emerging.

He claimed the results were much more “much more significant” and had been steadily growing for six to eight months.

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Mr Diffley added: “It seems that if there was a choice to be in an independent Scotland that was within the EU, that would be preferable to being part of the UK but out of the EU.

“Previous no voters, who voted to stay in the UK but also wanted to stay within the EU, are moving more to yes.

“Of course it does go the other way – people who voted for an independent Scotland who also voted for Brexit, some would rather now be in the UK outside of Europe.

“But that first group is much larger.”


The most recent poll undertaken by Panelbase revealed 54 percent of Scots would back ‘Yes’ in an independence referendum whilst support for ‘No’ stood at 46 percent.

Meanwhile, Mark Diffley added: “What is quite interesting is that if we bookend this, immediately after the EU referendum, the weekend after, there were two or three polls that suggested support for independence had gone up.

“But that didn’t last, it was almost a knee-jerk reaction to what had happened in the Brexit vote.

“But we are now starting to see a pattern emerging from enough polls to suggest this is not just a blip.

“It is a really fascinating time in Scottish politics at the moment. You can see, we are starting to see the mood of the nation change.”

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