THE bill laying the path for a second Scottish independence referendum will not be put before Holyrood ahead of the local elections, according to a new report.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon will lay the legislation before Holyrood after the ballot has taken place, an SNP source told The Herald.

She has previously set a date of 2023 for indyref2 – and said that not seizing the potential independence offers is the biggest threat the nation faces.

Holyrood is currently in a two-week recess for Easter, with the council elections taking place on May 5.

The National:

An SNP source told The Herald: "The bill is not going to happen before May 5, and it's not related to the elections.”

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Independence has featured in the campaign literature for the SNP’s local election campaigns.

A leaflet sent to Glasgow voters said: "With independence from scandal-ridden Westminster, our 'international city' will be the beating heart of an outward looking Scotland.

"When the independence referendum is won it is vital that an SNP city government leads Scotland's largest city."

The National: Yes campaign material as the campaign ahead of the Scottish independence referendum continues. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Monday September 8, 2014.  The more information people have in the run-up to the independence referendum, the more

A Scottish Government spokeswoman said: "The local government election period has no bearing on the introduction of the bill.

“As outlined in the Programme for Government, the Scottish Government will work to ensure that a legitimate and constitutional referendum can be held within this Parliament, and if the Covid crisis is over, within the first half of this Parliament."