NICOLA Sturgeon has accused the Scottish Tories of “running scared” of indyref2, but she warned Jackson Carlaw his party won’t be able to stop it. 

Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, the SNP leader lambasted Boris Johnson’s decision not to transfer powers to the Scottish Parliament.

She said: “Scotland deserves so much better than a Conservative government ripping us out of the European Union against our will.

“And I don’t just believe that we deserve better, I believe we could have much better if we were an independent country able to co-operate in the European Union in our own right.

“The Scottish Government will use all of the powers at our disposal to mitigate the impact of Brexit, as we have been doing for example to provide support and advice to European nationals who have been treated utterly shamefully by this UK Government, and we will continue to look at every way in which we can do that.

“But of course Scotland deserves the right to decide its own future and there’s a really fundamental issue at stake in Scotland, and it’s not actually about whether or not Scotland should be independent.

“It’s about who gets to decide -–should that be the Scottish people or should that be Westminster?

“It’s also about whether the outcome of the General Election is respected in Scotland as the Tories rightly demand that it is respected elsewhere in the UK.

“The Conservatives of course are running scared of Scotland having that choice and I can understand why. But they will not stop it.

“Democracy denial will not prevail, but the longer the Tories and perhaps others in this chamber persevere with the attempt to deny democracy, the more certain it becomes that Scotland will be an independent country.”

The National: Interim Scottish Tory leader Jackson CarlawInterim Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw

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Later in proceedings, LibDem MSP Mike Rumble asked the First Minister to “recognise that, last month, 55% of Scottish voters voted for candidates who were opposed to another independence referendum”.

“That level of opposition has not changed one iota since 2014,” he claimed.

Sturgeon said the LibDem had unintentionally “made an argument for having a referendum so that we can put that to the test”.

She added: “If Mike Rumbles is confident in his view – I suspect that he is not – that Scotland still does not want independence, he should have the courage of his convictions and put that to the test.

“The Liberal Democrats were, of course, perfectly happy to propose and argue for a second referendum on European Union membership, so perhaps they should look at the consistency of their own position before they stand up to ask questions of that nature in the chamber.”

Elsewhere during the session, Sturgeon confirmed her government will order a review of Scotland’s education system.

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The First Minister said ministers would abide by the decision of the Scottish Parliament after her administration was defeated in a debate on schools on Wednesday.

MSPs voted by 63 to 60 in favour of a “full review” into the senior phase of the Curriculum for Excellence, as well as a full review of broad general education – which covers learning from the early years right up to the end of S3.

Interim Scottish Conservative leader Carlaw said: “It is important we have a full inquiry, a majority of MSPs across parties have demanded that.”

He insisted it must “focus on the things that are going wrong” in Scotland’s schools.

Confirming a review will be held, Sturgeon stressed the “Scottish Government will abide by the decision of Parliament yesterday”.