THE “unstoppable” demand for Scottish independence won’t be reduced regardless of who wins the keys to Number 10, Ian Blackford has said.

In a TV interview yesterday, the SNP Westminster leader said the next prime minister must “respect democracy” and “the right of Scots to choose”.

Boris Johnson has said he’ll refuse a second independence referendum, while Jeremy Corbyn has now said he will not allow it until after the next Holyrood elections in 2021.

The SNP has said it will support a minority Labour government in Westminster on the proviso that Corbyn will agree to the Section 30 order needed to ensure a second ballot on the union would be legal.

On a two-day visit to Scotland, Corbyn ruled that out for the entire first term of a Labour government, then changed this to the “formative years” and the first two years.

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Appearing on the Andrew Marr Show yesterday, Corbyn said it would “certainly not” be until after the 2021 contest.

When asked if he could give Blackford a commitment for a Scottish independence referendum within the first year under a Labour government, Corbyn told Marr: “No. I can’t give him that.

“I can’t give him that commitment because I want to win an election, what I want to do is start the process of reinvesting in this country, of bringing forward all the proposals that we have got for a national investment bank, regional investment banks in England and investment in Scotland, which will get £70 billion of investment.

“I do not want us to spend the first year on an independence referendum.

“I say gently to the SNP, they will have the opportunity with a Labour government in Westminster of seeing a fair allocation of resources to Scotland, they will see an investment in Scotland that will deal with the massive health and social inequality they have got.”

But Blackford argued that such a refusal would be like telling Scots “your votes don’t count”.

Blackford, who is running for reelection in Ross, Skye and Lochaber, told the BBC One programme that avoiding Brexit is a priority, adding: “It doesn’t matter if it’s Jeremy Corbyn or if its anyone else, whoever is prime minister has got to respect democracy and the simple fact of the matter is the SNP won the election to the Scottish Parliament in 2016 on a manifesto commitment of a referendum if there was a change of circumstances.

“We won the election in 2017 to Westminster and we won the European election this year and all the polls are suggesting that we are the only party who can defeat the Tories in Scotland in this election.

“If we win this election and it’s on the promise that we’ll allow the people of Scotland to choose their own future, it will ill-behove any prime minister to stand in the face of democracy and the right of Scotland to chose.”

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Branding the move towards a constitutional split “unstoppable”, Blackford said: “It will not change whether there is a Corbyn or whether or not there is a Johnson government in London.”

On the red lines expressed by Corbyn and Johnson on the issue, he stated that though the “may say no today”, that might change “once they’re at the other side of the election”.

Blackford said: “Let’s wait and see.”

Following the broadcast, Tory MSP Jamie Greene said Corbyn “cannot be trusted to stand up for the union”.

Meanwhile, Jackson Carlaw, interim leader of the Scottish Tories, tweeted that the Conservatives “will never give Nicola Sturgeon #IndyRef2”, adding: “We said No in 2014, we meant it.”

On the campaign trail in Newton Mearns this week, he said this is “not because we resist democracy, but because we demand democracy be respected”.

His comments, reported in the Sunday Times, continued: “We reject the First Minister’s concept of disposable democracy, the idea that you can chuck away a once-in-a-generation decision because you’ve had enough of it.”

While Blackford reiterated the SNP’s Remain stance, Corbyn was pressed to state his personal preference on Brexit.

Instead, he repeated that his party would seek a “credible” withdrawal deal within three months then put that to a public vote.

And on his feelings about getting rid of Trident – a key SNP demand – he said work on nuclear non-proliferation was happening internationally, but stopped short of agreeing to scrapping the multi-billion pound renewal of the missile system. However, Corbyn did say that he views cyber security breaches as the biggest defence threat.

Meanwhile, ex-LibDem leader Tim Farron says his party will make tourism a priority if Jo Swinson becomes the next prime minister, saying: “We are so lucky to have our beautiful capital cities like Edinburgh, traditional bucket-and-spade resorts like Eastbourne, stunning national parks like the Lake District and modern city attractions like Manchester.”