Alex Salmond accused of not listening to voters over Scottish Independance | UK | News

The former First Minister claimed that Brexit will be the key driving force and vowed to play “whatever part is necessary” in a second referendum campaign.

In a press conference to promote his Edinburgh Festival show, which begins today, he also waded into the row between his successor Nicola Sturgeon and fellow ex-MP Michelle Thomson.

He said: “I think Scotland will become independent, I think that was rendered inevitable when the Scottish Parliament was established.

“The timing has always been the interesting thing and I think the timing and outcome of Brexit will dictate the timing of another referendum and therefore the timing of independence, in the medium term.

“If Brexit is a soaraway success, the best thing since sliced bread, then I think that will postpone another referendum but I don’t know anyone who thinks that now.

“So therefore I think a referendum will be at some point in the next three to four years, depending on the transitional period of Brexit, and I think the result will be a Yes.”

Mr Salmond was one of 21 SNP MPs to lose their seats as half a million voters turned away from the Nationalists in protest at the threat of another independence campaign.

Instead of shelving the plans, however, Ms Sturgeon has merely promised to “take stock and relaunch” the separation push in the autumn.

In response to the former MP for Gordon’s comments, Jackson Carlaw, Scottish Conservative deputy leader, said: “It is clear that Alex Salmond has learned nothing from his election defeat.

“The SNP’s obsession with independence and a subsequent lack of focus on education, health and the economy was a key factor in the widespread losses suffered by his party in June.

“Voters sent a clear message that they are fed up hearing about a second referendum, but it seems Mr Salmond, along with many others in the SNP, are still not listening.”

Meanwhile, Mr Salmond also said the situation involving former Ms Thomson had been “handled badly” by the party – and blamed Scottish newspapers for her downfall.

The former Edinburgh West MP withdrew from the SNP whip in 2015 when a police inquiry into allegations of mortgage fraud was launched but said she received no support from the party hierarchy.

She was told last month that she will not face court proceedings and asked for an apology from Ms Sturgeon. 

Mr Salmond said: “Although I think the SNP made a mistake, they weren’t the instigators of the mistake.

“The people who bear the heaviest burden of responsibility for the position…

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