NICOLA Sturgeon has urged Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard to “see the light” and support her calls for indyref2.

It came as the beleaguered party chief used his time at First Minister Questions to tackle the SNP leader on energy prices, pensions and the BBC’s decision to scrap free TV licences for the over-75s.

Sturgeon pointed out that all of those were reserved to Westminster.

In his question, Leonard reminded the Sturgeon that the Scottish Parliament had passed legislation setting a target of ending fuel poverty by 2040, despite ministers previously wanting to have it eradicated by 2016.

“Our pensioners suffered another blow this week when the Scottish Government voted to slow down and water down its plan to end fuel poverty,” he said.

“Instead of eradicating fuel poverty by 2016, the First Minister now wants to eradicate it by 2040. Instead of having a definition of vulnerability that extends to all pensioners, the Scottish Government has now excluded everybody below the age of 75, even though life expectancy in Scotland’s most disadvantaged communities is less than 75.

“When will all of Scotland’s pensioners finally be lifted out of fuel poverty?”

Sturgeon reminded Leonard that he and Labour had voted for the legislation that had made these changes.

“It is strange that Richard Leonard now seems to oppose it,” she told MSPs.

“The way that we treat our elderly citizens is a mark of the kind of society that we are,” Leonard replied. “They are people who have contributed all their working lives. Many of them are still contributing today, as unpaid carers, yet too many of them are forced to choose between heating and eating.

“The First Minister’s target date for ending fuel poverty was 2016; now, it is 2040. Does the First Minister appreciate the anger that will be felt by pensioners when they realise not just what the Tories are doing this week, but what the Scottish Government has done this week?

Sturgeon told him: “The regulation of energy prices in this country is a reserved matter, and pensions and television licences are reserved matters.

“If Richard Leonard wants this Government to have responsibility for all those matters, I will be the first to agree with him.

“Having reversed his position on a second European Union referendum at the weekend, perhaps he will now see the light and reverse his position on a second independence referendum, so that this Parliament can take control of those matters out of the hands of the Tories and serve our pensioners along with the rest of our country.”

Education dominated the rest of the session with Scottish Tory leader Ruth Davidson pushing the First Minister on subject choice in Scotland’s schools.

She told Sturgeon that the number of schools where S4 pupils sit an average of seven or more exams had fallen from 308 to to 182 - a drop of more than 40%.

The Scottish Tory leader challenged Sturgeon on the issue a week after Education Secretary John Swinney had dismissed Tory concerns on blended classroom as a “moanfest”.

Davidson demanded to know if the new figures her party had uncovered were “part of some great moanfest conspiracy, too”.

Sturgeon said performance in Scotland’s schools was on the rise.

“No matter how much Ruth Davidson wants to talk down the performance of Scottish education the facts quite frankly are proving her wrong,” she said.

The First Minister told MSPs that at level 5 and level 6, the percentage of pupils getting qualifications was increasing.

“In 2009, 22% of young people left school with five highers or more, and that figure is now more than 30%. Further, we are seeing the attainment gap narrow.”

Backbench Tory MSP Annie Wells pressed the First Minister on concerns over a bedbug infestation among pupils in a Glasgow Southside school.

Sturgeon said that the work at St Bride’s primary that is going on “is very intensive”.