Boris Johnson holds firm against Sturgeon poll bid

The Prime Minister restated his opposition to a new bid to break up Britain and gave staunch support to bolstering the Union in a phone call to the SNP leader. It came after Ms Sturgeon claimed that her general election gains meant he must hand her the legal powers for a poll. With the Nats winning 48 seats – up from 35 two years ago – the First Minister announced she will publish a revamped poll blueprint next week. Ms Sturgeon said the “overwhelming” victory was a clear endorsement of her demands for a referendum next year. The Tory leader said throughout the campaign that he would never allow a repeat of the 2014 plebiscite.

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A Downing Street spokesman said Mr Johnson had “reiterated his unwavering commitment to strengthening the union”.

He added: “On Brexit, the Prime Minister said that he is now in a position to get this done in a way that allows the whole of the UK to move forward together, providing certainty for Scottish businesses and improving the lives of people.

“The Prime Minister made clear  that he remained opposed to a second independence referendum, standing with the majority of people in Scotland who do not want to return to division and uncertainty.

“He added the result of the 2014 referendum was decisive.”

In an echo of the independence referendum, the SNP ended up with 45 percent of the vote and the three unionist parties almost 55 percent. Ms Sturgeon insisted she had an undeniable mandate having secured a majority of Scottish seats with 1.2 million votes.

The SNP’s landslide saw defeat for Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson, seven Tories, and the near wipeout of Scottish Labour.

Labour’s vote collapsed by 8.5 points and huge swings to the SNP were recorded in almost every seat.

The Nationalists vote was up 8.1 points, while the Tory vote fell 3.5 points to 25.1 percent.

Nicola SturgeonScottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon (Image: Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images)

In a speech in Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon said it proved a fresh vote was “the right of the people of Scotland”.

The First Minister added that while she conceded that Boris Johnson had a mandate to take England out of the EU, he had “no mandate whatsoever” to take Scotland out, given its rejection of Brexit.

She acknowledged that “not absolutely everyone” who voted SNP supported separatation, but that the result of the election proved the UK Government had no right to stop a vote.

Addressing Mr Johnson directly, she said: “This is not simply a demand I or the SNP are making.

“It is the right of the people of Scotland – and you as the

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