John Swinney MSP, Scotland’s deputy first minister, has sown confusion over the SNP government’s claims that it could win a mandate for separation at the next UK general election.
Swinney told the BBC on this morning that the SNP needed only to win a majority of Scotland’s Westminster seats (30 out of 59) at the next election to have a mandate to negotiate leaving the UK.
However, that claim directly contradicts briefings from a senior government sources who said on Tuesday that the SNP would have that mandate only if it won a majority of all the votes cast in the election, 50% plus one.
Pamela Nash, chief executive of Scotland in Union, said:
“It took less than 24 hours for Nicola Sturgeon’s plan to plunge into confusion – although she probably wasn’t expecting her top lieutenant to be responsible.
“John Swinney might claim he misheard, but it’s clear that the SNP is making it up as it goes along in a desperate attempt to placate ultra-nationalists.
“The SNP has given up all pretence of governing.
“The people of Scotland deserve a government that focuses on investing in public services and bringing communities together, which is only possible by remaining part of the UK.”