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by Tom Freeman and Kevin Schofield
30 May 2019
Tory leadership candidates say they will block second independence referendum

Sajid Javid - PA

Tory leadership candidates say they will block second independence referendum

Candidates to be the next Tory leader have said they will block any attempts by Nicola Sturgeon to hold a second independence referendum.

Sajid Javid, Matt Hancock and Rory Stewart all said they would refuse to grant the Scottish Parliament the legal power to stage another poll.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said the position would become unsustainable and a "democratic outrage".

Sturgeon has said she wants to hold another independence vote in the second half of 2020, and has published draft legislation on how it should be run.

Home Secretary Javid said on Twitter: "If I become PM, I won’t allow a second Scottish independence referendum. People stated views clearly in 2014, so there should be no second vote. Nicola Sturgeon should spend more time improving public services in Scotland, and less time grandstanding."

Speaking on a visit to Scotland, Health Secretary Mr Hancock said: "I say ‘No way Nicola’. I’m against second referendums because we live in a democracy and we follow the results of the first. When people are given a vote, politicians should listen.

"The SNP government would do better to focus on the powers that it does have, that it isn’t using well enough. We all said before the Scottish referendum that this would settle the issue for a generation, and it has."

Stewart, the MP for Penrith and The Border and International Development Secretary, said it was a "no" from him on the prospect of another referendum.

He said: "In everything we do and everything we say in this leadership race we should remember that the key is to unify the country and not divide the United Kingdom."

Sturgeon responded: "Memo to Tory leadership candidates: A majority of Scots - independence supporters and opponents alike - will not accept being told by a Tory PM that we are not ‘allowed’ to choose our own future.".

Independence supporters tweeted their own sarcastic responses using the hashtag #PermissionFromSajid

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