BBC audience members erupt at Sturgeon over independence plot in Scottish election debate

Nicola Sturgeon quizzed on coronavirus focus by BBC audience

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Nicola Sturgeon faced a barrage of criticism this evening as audience members lashed out at the SNP leader over her focus on an independence referendum. One audience member, Selwyn, hit out at the Scottish First Minister for “finding the time” to publish independence plans at a time of national crisis.  Another participant, Angelica, grilled Ms Sturgeon on whether her focus was on a Covid recovery or another independence referendum.

Selwyn asked: “Nicola Sturgeon said to us that she is focused on Covid and all that goes with it.

“If that’s the case, how did she find time to put an independence bill through parliament while we are still suffering Covid. That’s not focus!”

Angelica added: “My question is similar to Selwyn, because back in November 2020, Nicola Sturgeon was pushing for another independence referendum. 

“So is the focus really on a Covid recovery or is your focus on a referendum?”

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Ms Sturgeon responded: “We haven’t put an independence referendum bill through parliament. We published a nine-page draft

“People have seen me literally nearly every day leading the country’s fight against Covid, as is my responsibility as First Minister.

“My focus everyday is on Covid. But recovery is not a neutral thing. What do you recover to? It depends on decisions we make.

“As long as so many of the decisions lie in the hands of Boris Johnson and the government in Westminster, that people in Scotland often haven’t voted for, the danger is we take the wrong decisions and go in the wrong direction.

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“Just as we have been dragged out of the EU against our will.”

The SNP are expected to win a majority at the upcoming Holyrood elections on 6th May. 

A recent poll this week suggested that just over half of Scots would favour leaving the United Kingdom if rejoining the European Union was guaranteed.


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A survey conducted for the Press and Journal (P&J) found 53 per cent of voters said they would back such an arrangement.

In a speech this week, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross called on voters who are against another independence referendum to support his party.

He pitched the Tories as the only ones able to stop an SNP majority.

The debate features the five leading party leaders, including the SNP’s Nicola Sturgeon, Tory leader Douglas Ross, Labour’s Anas Sarwar, Green co-leader Lorna Slater and Lib Dem Willie Rennie.

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