THE new Deputy First Minister, Shona Robison, has said that independence will “take as long as it takes".

The former social justice, housing and local government secretary was announced as Scotland's next Deputy FM on Tuesday as the first major appointment in First Minister Humza Yousaf’s government.

The position had previously been filled by John Swinney before he stepped down alongside Nicola Sturgeon.

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Speaking on Good Morning Scotland on Wednesday, Robison said: “We will continue to push the UK Government for that fundamental democratic mandate to have a referendum.

“And of course, it was quite right that the First Minister raised that with the Prime Minister when they spoke (on Tuesday).

“Humza Yousaf has been very clear that we need to continue to build the case for independence. It will take as long as it takes to persuade those who are not yet persuaded.

“You'll do that through good governance, by getting out there and making the case.”

Asked by host Gary Robertson whether there was a figure they were working towards in terms of public support, Robison responded: “We're not going to put an exact figure on it. But a sustained level of support for independence is important.

“When you look back to where the level of support for independence was back in 2014, it was much lower than it is now.

Robertson pressed Robison on whether the "dial" had moved much since then. She responded that was talking about "sustained support". 

The host then pressed her on whether an independence referendum could, in fact, be years away.

Robison said: “It will be as close as we can make it by building the case and putting pressure on the UK Government to recognise the democratic mandate that we have here in Scotland.

“That is what we will continue to do. We have a very strong case to put to the Scottish people and I believe by doing that, we will be successful."

She added: “When you look at the support for independence among young people, it makes it inevitable.”