MHAIRI Black has said the Tories have made life so “miserable” for Scots they now don’t have the time to think about the constitutional future of Scotland, and this is the conundrum the SNP have to solve.

The SNP MP was asked whether she thought Scottish independence would ever happen in a conversation with journalist Graham Spiers at the Edinburgh Fringe on Tuesday.

In response, she said the Tories had made life so difficult for the vast majority of people since the 2014 referendum that they are now “too busy” to think about independence.

She said the SNP have a “challenge on their hands” to convince people Scottish independence is not just a selfish goal of the party but the only way in which Scots can have better lives.

Asked when she thought independence would happen, Black told the New Town Theatre crowd: “Honestly, when people decide it will happen. That’s the thing that’s missing right now.

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“Here’s what I think has happened since the referendum; Scotland decided we’re sticking with this Union, we’re going to give it one last chance and we’ll get all these things we were promised, and of course none of that has happened.

“But in the meantime we’ve got a Tory Government which has sadly, during the time I’ve been elected anyway, predominantly been backed up by the Labour Party, who are just making life miserable for folk – whether it’s cuts to social security, trying to fan culture wars and racism and xenophobia, getting their pals in their WhatsApp chats big multimillion pound Covid contacts while the rest of us are told to just hang in there.

“What’s happening is that the vast majority of people are too busy just trying to survive to be able to think about the constitutional future of Scotland and that’s where I think the SNP have got a challenge on their hands.

“What I see the SNP’s job as being is trying to get across to people that we’re not talking about this because it’s some constitutional goal we believe in, it’s because we think it’s the only way we’re going to solve all these issues.

“If we have the powers ourselves, we’ll be able to tailor decisions to Scotland. That’s why we believe in independence, it’s not because of flag waving and tartan. It’s a very practical thing.”

Black recently announced she would be stepping down as an MP for Paisley and Renfrewshire South and admitted during the event that she was looking forward to taking back “ownership” of her life.

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The party’s depute leader at Westminster branded the culture in the House of Commons as “toxic” and “one of the most unhealthy places that you could ever be in”.

She did not put a figure on how long she thought it would take for Scotland to be independent, but did insist it would happen.

She added: “How long it takes to get that across and make folk confident enough to try something different, whether that happens in the next two or 10 years, I don’t know.

“But I have no doubt Scotland will one day be independent, no doubt at all.”