TORY leadership candidate Andrea Leadsom has backtracked on a promise to "never say never" to granting Holyrood the powers to hold indyref2 if she became prime minister.

At a lunch event with journalists on Tuesday, Leadsom was asked whether, as prime minister, she would accept a Scottish request for Section 30 powers to hold a second referendum.

The Tory MP answered: "All of these things would be up for negotiation. I do believe in sovereignty.

"I don’t think most people in Scotland would want that to happen but I would never say never."

Asked under what circumstances she would back the vote, Leadsom added: “I do not think there should be another independence referendum in Scotland.

“On the other hand I am a big believer in devolution and so I am not going to stand here and utterly rule it out because I think that is disrespectful, but I would very strongly fight against a second referendum.”

However, less than 24 hours later, Leadsom u-turned, tweeting that "There will be no second referendums on my watch - not on Scottish Independance [sic] and not on EU membership. I respect the result of referendums!"

The UK Government's current position is that it would refuse any request for the powers to hold a new vote.