Sturgeon facing win-win scenario whether Boris’ ‘independence wall’ crumbles or stays firm
Nicola Sturgeon slams government comments about Ross
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If Mr Johnson is ousted by the Conservative Party then Nicola Sturgeon’s “independence wall” will have been removed according to a political analyst. On the other hand, Jacob Rees Mogg’s disparaging attack on Douglas Ross, which saw him call the Scottish Tory Leader a “lightweight”, may have alienated Scottish voters from Mr Johnson’s current cabinet. Former Conservative cabinet minister David Lidington said that the comments were “damaging” to the union and may have “boosted” Mr Ross’ support in Scotland.
While a political analyst at the University of Glasgow claimed that the Prime Minister’s resignation would be a boost for Sturgeon, as it could increase the likelihood of independence.
Describing Mr Johnson as “the wall” blocking Scottish independence, Michael T. Heaney claimed that a new leader in Downing Street would “by definition” make it “easier” for the SNP to achieve independence.
This is because Mr Johnson gave a “firm no” to independence in his winning election campaign, Mr Heaney said, so even a fellow Tory leader might not be such a strong block to a second vote on the issue.
Speaking about what the possibility of a new leader in Downing Street would mean for independence, Mr Heaney told Express.co.uk: “It would by definition be easier because I don’t think it could be harder to achieve independence than under Johnson.
“Johnson is the wall to independence.
“Johnson has made it a very firm no and he’s got absolutely no reason to change that.
“So by definition, I don’t think anybody in the world would be a harder target than Johnson.
He added: “Johnson was the one who won the election. He has said in his campaign that he would not allow a referendum.
“So what would you need to change that? There are a couple of different paths.
“One path is through moving Johnson out of the government, or booting the Tories out of the government.”
But former cabinet minister David Lidington described the recent comments made by Johnson’s Leader of the House of Commons, Mr Rees-Mogg, as “counterproductive” and a “grotesque error of judgement” when it comes to the Union.
Speaking to LBC, Mr Rees-Mogg said:”I don’t think Douglas Ross is a big figure.”
He later told BBC Newsnight that Mr Ross is “quite a lightweight figure”.
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Speaking about Mr Rees-Mogg’s comments to PoliticsHome, Mr Lidington said: “As leader of the Scottish Conservatives, elected by the Scottish Conservative Party, he is entitled to respect from whoever serves in the UK cabinet.
“In terms of handling it and winning his support, it was utterly incompetent.
“In terms of the Union, which is supposed to be a government priority, it is only damaging.
“It was a grotesque error of judgement on Rees Mogg’s part and I hope that they will learn from this.
“I doubt it has done Douglas Ross too much harm in Scotland — it may well have boosted him.
“It really was a foolish way to deal with issue.”
Mr Rees-Mogg hit out at the Leader of the Scottish Conservatives after he called for the Prime Minister’s resignation, amid increasing allegations of rule-breaking at Downing Street.
There have been an increasing number of calls for the PM to step down in recent days, including former Brexit Minister David Frost, who called on the PM to leave his post at PMQs on Wednesday.
The list of those calling for Mr Johnson to resign also includes Science Minister George Freeman and Health Minister Maria Caulfield.
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