DAVID Mundell refused to answer a simple question on what he would consider a mandate for a second independence referendum, as he felt the heat in the Commons yesterday.

The Tory Secretary of State for Scotland was asked repeatedly during Scottish Questions why his government was standing in the way of indyref2.

WATCH: David Mundell fails to answer Mhairi Black's simple question

Tommy Sheppard asked Mundell if a win at European elections for the SNP would change the Tory’s mind.

“Two weeks tomorrow the people of Scotland go to the polls, and the SNP will be fighting that election not just resisting the shambles of the Tory Brexit but demanding that the voice of Scotland be heard and the people of Scotland be given a choice over their own future,” Sheppard said.

“If my party wins that election, will the Secretary of State abandon his resistance to the Scottish Government being able to consult people on their own future?”

Mundell said he did not understand what Sheppard’s “definition of winning that election will be”, but that the point of the vote was “to elect members from Scotland to the European Parliament for as short a period as possible”.

The SNP MP said Mundell’s answer “did not sound like the response of someone who believes in the Claim of Right”.

READ MORE: David Mundell's parliamentary credit card was suspended twice

He continued: “Is it not really the case that it does not matter how many elections we win and it does not matter how many times the people of Scotland demand a say in their own future, because the Secretary of State is part of a crumbling Government, and his party, which has the support of one in five people in Scotland, will continue to deny them the opportunity to determine their own future?”

The minister said he had “been very clear”.

“This Government will not agree to another independence referendum before 2021,” he said.

SNP MP Alison Thewliss pointed out that Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson had told STV News that she was “getting ready to fight an independence referendum”.

She asked: “Is there something the Secretary of State would like to tell us?

“Has the Tory party finally realised that it cannot deny the people of Scotland their right to have a choice over their own future?”

Mundell said there is “only one guaranteed way to get an independence referendum off the table and discussion of independence away from the Scottish Parliament, and that is to elect Ruth Davidson as the First Minister of Scotland.”

Meanwhile, former prime minister Tony Blair said there should be no new independence vote “unless there is a really big groundswell of opinion for it”.

The former Labour leader said a fresh vote on independence could “fundamentally” damage the UK.

Blair told The Herald: “I don’t think we should have one unless there really is a big groundswell of opinion for it and I don’t see that.

“To be brutally frank about it, the last thing we need at this moment is another huge dose of constitutional uncertainty, we really would start to damage ourselves fundamentally as a country.”

Blair’s comments came in an interview to mark the 20th anniversary of the first Holyrood elections in 1999.

In the interview he stressed he still wanted Scotland to be part of the UK, saying people should “be in no doubt about that”.

But he conceded that Brexit was seen by independence supporters as another reason for Scotland to break away from the rest of the UK “If you’re a Nationalist, it gives you an additional argument – which is another very good reason, by the way, for not doing Brexit,” Blair argued.

He also said a “series of wrong decisions” were responsible for Labour losing so many of its MPs to the SNP in 2015.

Responding to Blair’s comments on independence, the SNP’s depute leader Keith Brown said: “In 2014 Tony Blair backed the campaign which told the people of Scotland that the only way to protect their place in Europe was to reject independence.

“Five years on and that has been exposed as the myth it always was, with Scotland set to be dragged out of Europe against our will. Independence is now the opportunity to save Scotland from the damage of a Tory Brexit.

“Support for independence is on the rise – as more and more people back the opportunities of taking our future into our own hands”.