THE National has urged Ruth Davidson to explain why she now wants the Prime Minister to block indyref2, despite previously saying that “constitutionally” no UK government should stand in the way of Scots voters having their say on independence.

Back in July 2016, the Scottish Tory leader explicitly told the BBC’s Sunday Politics Scotland programme that it would not be right for the UK government to stop another vote.

WATCH: Sarah Mackie video sets out Scottish Tory hypocrisy over indyref2

But last week, the Tory leader, in an interview to mark her return to frontline politics following maternity leave, appeared to say the opposite.

The SNP called the Tory’s position “indefensible”, while the Greens said the change of heart was because Davidson “knows how close the Tories and Westminster are to losing Scotland.”

In that original interview, Davidson told the show: “I have never said it should be denied, I didn’t say it the last time either.

Davidson later added: “I would argue as strong as I could that we should stay part of our biggest market and closest friend. Constitutionally the UK Government shouldn’t block it, no.”

When asked last week about the UK Government agreeing to a new referendum, Davidson told BBC Scotland: “I’ll say no and this Prime Minister and the next prime minister should say so too.”

READ MORE: Andrew Tickell: The truth about Ruth Davidson's dismal record

When asked if Davidson stood by her remarks from July 2016, and, if not, to spell out what has changed, a spokesman for the Scottish Tories said: “Since 2016 Nicola Sturgeon has lost a huge amount of support for her plans to break up the UK.

“She made the issue front and centre for a General Election in which she lost 21 seats and half a million votes.

“She then said she’d have a reset given what’s happening with Brexit. Now the First Minister wants to have another referendum on independence within 18 months.

“That’s deeply irresponsible, and the vast majority of the Scottish public don’t back her on this ludicrous timescale at all.

“Now is not the time to revisit the separation question, something Ruth has reiterated over the weekend, and something on which most Scots back her on.”

SNP depute leader Keith Brown told The National that Davidson’s position was “indefensible”.

“With support for independence on the rise - it’s clear the Tories are running scared of democracy.

“Ruth Davidson is guilty of the most appalling double standards, having previously said that the UK Government ‘shouldn’t block’ an independence referendum.

“This position is totally indefensible and will prove to be untenable for Ruth Davidson as the SNP goes from strength to strength - commanding poll leads for Holyrood, Westminster and the European elections.”

Green MSP Ross Greer said Davidson the Tories were too scared to agree to another vote: “There hasn’t been an active Yes campaign in Scotland for five years, while the Tories have rebranded themselves as a single-issue anti-independence campaign, yet support for independence hasn’t been dented.

“It’s clear why Ruth Davidson doesn’t want to let the people determine their own future - she knows how close the Tories and Westminster are to losing Scotland.”

In March, the Prime Minister told MPs that “the SNP has no mandate from the Scottish people to continue to pursue independence.

Raising a point of order about those remarks, Ian Blackford, the SNP’s leader in Westminster, said: “Let me say quite unequivocally that is simply not the case.”

“The SNP stood on a manifesto commitment to holding an independence referendum if there was a material change of circumstances. It might be a surprise to the Prime Minister, but we won the election.

“Perhaps more importantly, we took a motion to the Scottish Parliament, because there is emphatically a majority for independence in that Parliament, and we won that vote in March 2017 by 69 votes to 59."