MICHAEL Gove has ruled out taking the Scottish Government to court over an independence referendum.

The issue came up on the Andrew Marr Show after the SNP's historical Holyrood election win where they won a total of 72 seats with the Scottish Greens.

Asked whether the First Minister would be taken to court if a second referendum on Scottish independence was held, Gove said: “We’re not going near there.”

The Cabinet Office minister told the BBC show: “The result of all of these elections was an instruction to politicians: thank you for the vaccination programme, the UK Government has delivered that across the whole country, now please concentrate on recovery.”

READ MORE: Scotland has voted for indyref2, Nicola Sturgeon tells UK Government

Gove told the programme that “a majority of people who voted in the constituencies voted for parties that were opposed to a referendum” and Sturgeon “didn’t secure a majority as Alex Salmond did in 2011. That is a significant difference”.

He added: “Alex Salmond, when he requested a referendum, every party in the Scottish Parliament agreed that it was appropriate to have a referendum given that he had secured a majority. It is not the case now – as we see – that the people of Scotland are agitating for a referendum.”

Gove also told Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday that the UK and Scottish governments should “concentrate on the things that unite us” rather than “constitutional wrangling” over indyref2.

“If we get sucked into a conversation about referenda and constitutions then we are diverting attention from the issues that are most important to the people in Scotland and across the United Kingdom," he said.

“I hope that what people want from a Holyrood government, and also from the Westminster government, is a commitment to work together on these issues.

“So, instead of concentrating on the things that divide, let’s concentrate on the things that unite and let’s concentrate on all of us to work together to serve the people that just vote for us.”

Referencing the SNP’s desire for a second referendum, Gove added it was “a slightly skewed set of priorities to imagine that that is the most important issue” in the light of the pandemic recovery.

The comments were criticised by SNP politicians.

Jenny Gilruith said: "Michael Gove has some brass neck to talk about prioritising recovery when he prioritised a hard Tory Brexit, against the wishes of the Scottish electorate, during the worst excesses of the pandemic."

Pete Wishart said: "Gove is demonstrating that the Tories simply have absolutely no idea in how to respond to our victory last night. They know the game is up. This is simply fascinating."

Fergus Mutch, who was an SNP candidate for Aberdeenshire West, pointed out Gove's hypocrisy.