‘Do your day job!’ Nicola Sturgeon’s independence obsession TORN APART by George Galloway

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Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and her ruling party the SNP have continued their campaign for Scotland to be split from the remainder of the UK over recent weeks, despite her Government coming under increasing pressure over the rapid spread of coronavirus in Scotland and impact on the fragile economy. There have so far been more than 90,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus cases among a population of 5.5 million people, with deaths of the virus soaring past 3,500 earlier this week. Huge swathes of the country have been hit by the strongest lockdown restrictions in a desperate attempt to curb the rapid rate of infections.

Scotland’s economy grew 1.6 percent in September, but this was the smallest increase since a slump during the first coronavirus lockdown when GDP fell by 5.6 percent and 19.3 percent in March and April respectively.

But Ms Sturgeon said last week: “The referendum for a whole variety of reasons should be in the earlier part of the next parliament.

“I intend to say more about this before the election in our manifesto, but we are still in a global pandemic that I feel a bit more hopeful about seeing the end of than I did even just a couple of months ago.

“There’s still a lot of uncertainty ahead. I’m a lifelong believer and campaigner and advocate for independence, but right now I’m also the First Minister of Scotland.  “My responsibility is to the health and wellbeing of the country and trying to steer it through a pandemic, and I’m very focused on that.”

It’s almost 2021, the economy has been devastated, thousands of people have died and they want to have another referendum in 2021, which is just around the corner. You really couldn’t make it up

George Galloway

But former Labour MP George Galloway has launched a scathing attack on the SNP, describing their plans for an independence referendum in 2021 as “irresponsible” and “absolute madness”.

The founder of the Alliance 4 Unity campaign group, which aims to oust the SNP from power and end the debate around a second referendum on Scottish independence, also demanded ministers “get on and do their day job”.

Mr Galloway told Express.co.uk prior to the comments from Ms Sturgeon: “The SNP are continuing to shut Scotland down over the coronavirus pandemic.

“It’s almost 2021, the economy has been devastated, thousands of people have died and they want to have another referendum in 2021, which is just around the corner. You really couldn’t make it up.

“Calling another referendum so soon after the last one is irresponsible but to do so in the current climate is a sign of absolute madness.

“The idea that we could do it in the circumstances when we don’t even know if the Holyrood elections next May will go ahead and how that will work.

“How can you even think to schedule something so divisive and destructive as another separatist referendum in those circumstances?

“They need to get on and do their day job.”

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The latest furious outburst from Mr Galloway comes as the SNP warned it could launch a plot to “grind down” Boris Johnson and his Conservative Party Government with “successive constitutional disputes” until they bow to pressure and allow a second referendum on Scottish independence.

The Prime Minister is refusing to grant the Holyrood Parliament in Scotland the Section 30 power needed to stage another referendum in the country, arguing the result from the first referendum in 2014 must be honoured and is a “once in a generation event”.

But Pete Wishart, the SNP’s longest-serving member in Westminster, wrote in his blog earlier this week: “MPs should continue to serve our constituents and speak out in Parliament but it would not be business as usual.

“In the Scottish Parliament, legislative consent could be increasingly withdrawn.

“The Scottish Parliament could also start to legislate on issues at the edge of the devolved powers challenging the UK Government to strike Scottish democracy down again.

“We could then start to grind them down with successive constitutional disputes.”

Mr Wishart said if the SNP triumph in the Scottish elections next May, he is confident Mr Johnson and his Government would agree to an early ballot on Scottish independence.

The SNP MP for Perth and North Perthshire added: “The UK will agree to a referendum if we win in May.

“They will have looked at the consequences of saying ‘No’ just as we have. They will not like the look of it at all.”

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