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Layla Moran, who is standing to be the next leader of the Liberal Democrats took a swipe at Nicola Sturgeon’s party claiming that many Scots are backing IndyRef2 in protest at Boris Johnson’s premiership. She said that the Conservative Party were to blame for record support for Scottish independence after the PM ruled out a second Scottish independence referendum.
It comes after a vote undertaken by Panelbase showed that 54 percent of Scots were now for independence.
But the Oxford West MP urged voters in Scotland not to “throw the Union out with the bath water”.
She said that the Lib Dems would continue to argue for Scotland to stay in the Union and added: “We believe in the family of nations.”
She added to Scotland on Sunday: “The reason why we care about it is because we care about working together with people, and that’s consistent between our position of wanting to remain a United Kingdom with all of its strengths, and also why we wanted to stop Brexit.”
Stressing about Boris Johnson, she said: “Everyone out there who is thinking about how much they dislike Boris Johnson – please, can I let them know that they have an ally in the Liberal Democrats.
“Boris Johnson is not England, and he is not this country.
“If you want to be rid of Boris Johnson, you don’t have to throw the Union out with the bath water.”
But SNP deputy leader Keith Brown, said of Scottish independence: “Majority support for independence is now the established position.
“All efforts of the Scottish Government have rightly been focused on combating the current COVID crisis but, where Nicola Sturgeon has shown exemplary leadership, the Westminster Government has lurched from blunder to blunder and the clear gulf in class is clearly not lost on Scottish voters.
“It’s no surprise the majority of Scots want to be shot of Boris Johnson and his cabinet of incompetents.”
Ms Moran also admitted that the Lib Dems were “optimistic about making gains” in next year’s “hugely important” Scottish Parliament elections.
She concluded that voters should “strike a blow against the rising tide of populism” by backing the Liberal Democrats.
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Currently, the Scottish Lib Dems have just five seats with their vote share decreasing from 17 in the first Holyrood elections in 1999.
It comes as Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie said he was trying to entice former Lib Dem leader Jo Swinson to run for the Scottish Parliament in next year’s election.
He said: “I would love to see Jo come to the Scottish Parliament, I think she’s talented.
“I was keen to encourage her to stay involved and for her to consider the Scottish Parliament as one of those options.
“She’s not made her mind up about that but I think she’s talented and would be great to have.
“It’s too early for her to leave the political scene – I hope she does do it.”
Ms Swinson lost her East Dumbartonshire seat to the SNP by 149 votes in December’s election.
An SNP spokesperson hit back at Ms Moran’s comments and said: “The Lib Dems lost the public’s trust after ushering in Tory austerity. Layla Moran should be apologising for her party’s role in bringing in the Bedroom Tax and betraying students over tuition fees.”
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