SCOTLAND’S Constitutional Affairs Secretary has told Boris Johnson he won’t be waiting until he’s 102 years old to vote in a second independence referendum.

Michael Russell, who has also been the SNP president since November hit back at the Prime Minister’s comments on Sunday when he said that 41 years between referendums was “about right”.

Russell also described Johnson’s claim as “completely daft” and pointed to a growing interest in independence among European media outlets, including an article by Irish journalist Fintan O’Toole in German newspaper Die Zeit at the weekend.

“I wont be waiting till my 102nd birthday to vote in another independence referendum and the completely daft claim by Johnson – which echoed a similarly daft claim a few days earlier by the hapless Secretary of State against Scotland, Alister Jack – simply illustrates how anti-Scottish and out of touch he is, a point made by the Irish writer Fintan O’Toole in a devastating piece in a German newspaper at the weekend,” Russell told The National.

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Russell went on to point that under the Brexit deal Northern Ireland will be able to have a referendum on re-uniting Ireland every seven years. He said: “In fact Johnson’s Tory Government has, of course, legislated to allow a referendum in Northern Ireland, essentially on what they have had from the Brexit deal, every seven years so Johnson doesn’t even know that going by his own legal timescale 2021 (seven years since the first indyref) is exactly the time his own Government should be ready for a democratic verdict on what he has failed to achieve for Scotland.”

The National:

Prime Minister Boris Johnson was the guest on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show on the first programme of 2021 last Sunday

He added: “If the people of Scotland vote for a referendum in the election in May then there will be one, and just as soon as it can take place.”

Speaking on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show on Sunday, Johnson said that the gap between referendums on Europe – the first in 1975 and the second in 2016 – was “a good sort of gap”.

Marr suggested that since the 2014 vote “things had changed” for Scotland, after leaving the European Union and the coronavirus pandemic.

He asked Johnson what a voter in Scotland should do if they decided a referendum was now something they wanted.

The PM said: “Referendums in my experience, direct experience, in this country are not particularly jolly events. They don’t have a notably unifying force in the national mood, they should be only once in a generation.”

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Asked what the difference was between a referendum on EU membership being granted and one on Scottish independence being requested, he said: “The difference is we had a referendum in 1975 and we then had another one in 2016. That seems to be about the right sort of gap.”

A 41-year gap in terms of the independence referendum would mean that Johnson would think it would not be right or Scots to have another vote on the matter until 2055. His comments led to a backlash. James Ker-Lindsay, a visiting professor at the LSE, responded on Twitter.

READ MORE: Michael Russell: We won’t just have Plan B – we’ll have Plan A to Z to get indyref2

He wrote: “The idea that Scotland should wait 40 years for another vote on independence is obscene. The whole basis of the 2014 vote has been invalidated by Brexit. There’s now an unassailable moral case for a new vote when the people of Scotland show they want one.”

Russell, who is 67, is to step down from Holyrood ahead of the 2021 Scottish Parliament elections.

He was elected SNP President at the party's conference in November last year, beating Craig Murray and Corri Wilson.

Shortly after being elected to the post, he insisted that the government would not only have a Plan B to secure independence, but a "Plan A to Z" as he responded to concerns from the SNP's grassroots that the SNP were not doing enough to secure a vote following the UK Government's denial of an agreed referendum.