IndyRef2: Sturgeon ‘running away’ says Craig Hoy
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The First Minister has been accused of “running away” from key political concerns within Scotland as the SNP continue to place renewed focus on delivering a controversial second referendum on independence. The Scottish Conservative party has argued Ms Sturgeon should draw her attention towards the failure of public services across the nation as the SNP fails to deliver improvements. Conservative MSP Craig Hoy claimed a second referendum would be ill-timed and only further “divide” the country during a period of economic crisis. Despite his concerns, the SNP representative, MSP Neil Gray, continued to advocate for a further vote to be put towards the Scottish electorate.
Speaking on BBC Scotland’s Debate Night, Mr Hoy said: “Why now? Why would you want an independence referendum now?
“Why would you when this country is coming out of the covid pandemic, when we have a global cost of living crisis and public services, schools, hospitals, roads and railways are suffering SNP failure.
“Why would you want to divide this country all over again?”
Mr Gray interrupted the criticisms of the Conservative MSP as he argued the First Minister maintained a mandate to deliver a second independence referendum for Scotland.
Mr Gray said: “The people of Scotland have had their say, they voted for a majority of MSPs in the Scottish Parliament who wanted to have a referendum.
“Why will you not respect the people of Scotland in what they have said in a democratic event?”
Mr Hoy replied: “The reason why the First Minister has put this back on the agenda now is not to have this discussion with the country.
“It is because she has marched her troops to the top of the hill time and time again, so she needs to throw red meat to the core SNP support base.”
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He continued: “This is not about an independence referendum next year, although you are suggesting it’s next October.
“It’s about keeping the grievance and the division on the agenda and also, running away from your records on public services, on schools, hostials, roads, railways.”
The SNP has persisted with their argument that Scotland requires a second opportunity to vote on independence from the UK in wake of the Brexit referendum and other major political events.
Mr Hoy highlighted that the 2014 vote on Scottish independence was promised to be a once in a generation opportunity, so a further referendum would undermine the decision already made by the Scottish people.
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The First Minister has argued the SNP victory in the last Scottish election has demonstrated the will of the Scottish people to address the issue of independence with renewed experience.
Ms Sturgeon described the election as providing an “indisputable mandate” for a second referendum within Scotland.
The SNP has pledged to deliver the vote before the end of next year, though an exact timeline of events has not yet been laid clear.
Opposition parties have consistently argued that the 2014 result should be respected and the Scottish Government should redirect its focus towards alternative matters of concern within the country.
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