A GREEN party peer has called out Unionists for denying Scotland’s democratic mandate to carry out another independence referendum.

Natalie Bennett posted a clip of her speech on Twitter last night, in which she argued the Scottish Government had achieved the “standard definition” of a democratic mandate to hold another independence referendum.

She also questioned whether the UK Government had decided to simply deny Scots the ability to decide on the Union for themselves.

She said: “The parties proposing an independence referendum won a majority of seats in last year’s Scottish Parliament elections. That is the standard definition of a democratic mandate. If the Government has decided on another definition, could they please tell your lordships’ house what that definition is?

“Or has the Government simply decided that the people of Scotland won’t be allowed to make such a decision for themselves?”

Bennett received a reply from Scotland Office minister Lord Offord of Garvel – a Tory donor who has donated more than £135,000 to the Conservative Party since 2007, and £2500 to Michael Gove in 2019.

He said: “In the last Holyrood election, the SNP failed to get a majority. If you add in the 28,000 Green votes, they got to 50% of the popular vote. It’s still 1.4 million or 1.3 million voters. Whether they are stuck at that 1.3 or 1.4 million, you can decide what a mandate is.

“It seems to me that they need to get to 2 million because the Unionists are at 2 million. And if you go to 60% of that you get to 2.5 million so I think it’s a long way off.”

It remains unclear what Lord Offord was referring to in his calculus. The Scotland Office has been contacted for clarification.

Commenting, Scottish Green MSP Ross Greer said: "I hope someone checked Malcolm Offord wasn't suffering from the recent heatwave after he came out with that absolute gibberish. This is a man who hasn't been elected to anything in his life but who ended up not only in the Lords but as a minister in the Scotland Office after donating £150,000 to the Tories, so its hardly a surprise that the basics of democracy seem alien to him."

"One of the many benefits of Scottish independence is that we will finally be able to take our future into our own hands and follow a different path, rather than being lectured on democracy by life peers we didn't choose and can't get rid of, who are busy playing out their medieval fantasies."

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The SNP's constitution spokesperson Tommy Sheppard said: "It's ironic that we have a bunch of unelected Lords telling an elected Scottish Parliament what it can and cannot do.

"This is the sort of Westminster nonsense Scotland can rid itself of with independence.

"The SNP Scottish Government has a cast-iron mandate to hold a second independence referendum - and anyone that tries to to stand in the way of that is denying Scots their democracy."

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Meanwhile, an important milestone has been set out in the Supreme Court battle that will decide if the Scottish Government’s plans to hold another independence referendum without permission from the UK Government are legal.

The court confirmed that arguments will be heard on October 11 and 12– almost exactly a year ahead of the date of Nicola Sturgeon's proposed referendum – in what will be a highly anticipated showdown between the UK and Scottish governments.