Nicola Sturgeon: Protesters demonstrate outside Fringe venue
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The First Minister made the comments in an interview at the Edinburgh Fringe on Wednesday. The SNP leader revealed she had been called a “traitor” to the independence cause while commenting on the abuse levied at BBC journalist James Cook by Scottish ultra-nationalists.
Mr Cook, who is Scottish, was called a “scumbag rat” and a “liar” by members of a crowd while reporting on the Tory leadership hustings in Perth earlier this month.
Ms Sturgeon said she had suffered similar abuse from hardline independence campaigners.
Her statements were proved correct when she left the venue, with more ultra-nationalist Scots heckling the First Minister.
Group founder Alistair McConnachie, who was previously expelled from the UK Independence Party for being a Holocaust denier, shouted: “Will you apologise for damaging Scotland, Ms Sturgeon?”.
Ms Sturgeon has been battling to secure a second referendum on Scotland’s breakaway from the UK – but has run into numerous stalling blocks.
Last week Ms Sturgeon suffered an embarrassing blow when a former SNP advisor claimed the party had already received legal advice that another referendum couldn’t happen without approval from Westminster.
The Scottish Government has published a referendum bill which proposes that the vote should take place on October 19, 2023.
So far, the UK Government has categorically ruled out another vote, and has refused to grant a Section 30 order that would allow a referendum in Scotland to take place.
This same order was granted by David Cameron’s Government prior to referendum campaigns in 2014.
Without approval from Westminster, the SNP has referred the matter to the Supreme Court, which will hear the case on October 11.
According to polling expert Sir John Curtice, as it stands, neither side could be confident of victory.
Support for independence stands at around 49 percent, and 51 percent against, excluding those who have not made their mind up.
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In the 2014 referendum, Scotland voted 55 percent to remain a part of the union.
Despite her attempts to break up the UK, the First Minister also surprised the Edinburgh Fringe audience with the admission she still considers herself British.
She said: “So, this might surprise people, but do you know I consider myself British as well as Scottish?
“British is an identity that comes from being part of the British Isles.
“We’ll still be part of the British Isles. An independent Scotland would still be part of the British–Irish Council that I go to right now as First Minister.”
She cited those who live in Scotland from different countries and backgrounds as being Scottish as her reason for being able to be both.
Ms Sturgeon continued: ”Identity is a complex thing. Many people live in Scotland, are as Scottish as I am, but will have a very proud Pakistani or Indian or African identity.”
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