DOUGLAS Ross has been left fuming after the starting gun was fired on a second independence referendum.

The Scottish Tory leader took to social media to express his outrage following the launch of the renewed drive to push for indyref2.

The Highlands MSP – also the MP for Moray – told Nicola Sturgeon to “give it a rest” saying now was not the time to begin the campaign.

Ross said the “global cost of living crisis” should see indyref2 planning shelved.

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In a Facebook post, he wrote: “Nicola Sturgeon's latest push for indyref2 is the wrong priority - at the worst possible time.

The National:

“After Covid, in the middle of the global cost of living crisis, we should be focused on rebuilding Scotland, not dividing Scotland.

“Nicola Sturgeon should give it a rest - and focus on people's real priorities.”

He added: “Nicola Sturgeon pushes her obsession by asking: ‘Why not Scotland?’ Let me ask her a better question: Why not improve Scotland now?“Why not create better Scottish jobs now? Why not tackle Scotland’s record levels of drug deaths now? Why not restore Scottish schools now? Why not build a ferry - even just one ferry - in Scotland now?

“This government is obsessed with independence, when it should be obsessed with delivering for Scotland now."

The First Minister and Greens co-leader Patrick Harvie launched a new paper, the first a series of new documents setting out an updated case for independence, at an event in Bute House on Tuesday morning.

Sturgeon insisted there was an “indisputable” mandate for a second referendum and that the Scottish Government would press ahead with indyref2 with or without a Section 30 order.

“After everything that has happened – Brexit, Covid, Boris Johnson – it is time to set out a different and better vision,” she added.

“It is time to talk about making Scotland wealthier and fairer. It is time to talk about independence and then make that choice.”

The Scottish Tories' deputy leader Meghan Gallacher wrote: “A joint statement from the SNP and Greens as they try to launch another vote on the constitution.

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“It is remarkable that Nicola Sturgeon and Patrick Harvie believe now is the right time to hold another vote. This is nothing more than pandering to their own party cohorts.”

Scottish Tory backbencher Douglas Lumsden was also angered by the launch of the new document, entitled “Independence in the Modern World: Wealthier, Happier, Fairer: Why Not Scotland?”

He tweeted: “One of the most annoying things about this tripe that was published today is this is a "Scottish Government" publication, paid for by the taxpayer.

“If the SNP want propoganda [sic] they should pay for it themselves from their missing £600k.”