Nicola Sturgeon has predicted Jeremy Corbyn will soon back her call for a Scottish independence vote in 2020.

The SNP leader was responding to further confusion over Mr Corbyn’s position on a second Scottish independence referendum.

The Labour leader said on Thursday that indyref2 would not happen in the first two years of his party winning power.

The previous day, he initially told journalists that a referendum would not happen in the first five-year term.

But just hours later, he clarified that a referendum would not be held in the “early years” of a Labour government, with the party’s focus instead being on “massive investment” in Scotland.

Mr Corbyn and Scottish Labour have said they will campaign against independence if the issue is put to another referendum.

But a Scottish Labour candidate in a key target seat for the party ahead of the general election told BBC political correspondent Nick Eardley that the “mixed messaging” from Mr Corbyn on the issue was a “disaster” for the party.

And Ms Sturgeon tweeted: “Yesterday it was ‘not in the first term’. Today, it’s ‘not in the first two years’. By the end of the week, at this rate, Corbyn will be demanding #indyref2020”.

The prospect of a second vote on independence and Brexit was discussed at first minister’s questions, with the Conservatives also raising questions about the timing of a vote.

Nicola Sturgeon has said she will request a transfer of power from Westminster by the end of this year, with the goal of holding a referendum in the second half of 2020.

But the first minister has also given her support to having another referendum on Brexit next year.

If Labour wins power, it has committed to renegotiating the Brexit deal with the EU, before putting this “credible Leave option” to the public in a fresh vote, up against Remain.

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PA Media

Image caption
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and his wife Laura Alvarez (wearing hat) with Labour activists while canvassing in Glasgow on Wednesday evening

Interim Scottish Tory leader Jackson Carlaw asked Ms Sturgeon which vote would come first, saying he was “not sure the first minister has thought through her big double referendum promise”.

He said: “When is all this supposed to happen? Both referendums on the one day, or different days? Which vote would come first – indyref, euroref – which?”

Ms Sturgeon replied: “My priority – and I can’t believe Jackson Carlaw hasn’t actually cottoned on to this yet – my priority is to give the people of Scotland the opportunity to choose independence next year and I look forward to delivering on that.”

This led Scottish Lib Dem leader Willie Rennie to say Ms Sturgeon had “abandoned Remain voters across the UK”, saying this was “hugely disappointing”.

He said: “If you are a Remainer in Scotland, you should know that the SNP will twist every vote into an endorsement of independence. Her party will always put independence ahead of anything else.”



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