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Nicola Sturgeon orders 11 civil servants to work on IndyRef2 prospectus at cost of £700k

SNP ministers have ordered close to a dozen civil servants to work on Ms Sturgeon’s independence prospectus for a second vote, a Scottish Government FOI request shows. One senior civil servant and 10 other officials in different pay bands have been putting together the new blueprint after the First Minister said her “democratic mandate” was “beyond question” despite failing to secure her own majority in the May 2021 Holyrood election.

Alex Cole-Hamilton, leader of the Scottish Lib Dems, said: “To spend more than £500,000 on a fool’s errand of another prospectus for independence makes it less of a white paper and more of a white elephant.

“It is scandalous that when patients are waiting in pain, when kids have missed out on life qualifying education and when NHS staff are on their knees, the SNP and Greens are prating about on their ridiculous fantasy.

“They are absolutely off their rockers.”

On Wednesday, ahead of a party meeting with activists, SNP President Michael Russell said he was “confident” a second independence referendum will happen next year.

He claimed: “That’s the mandate that exists, that was the promise that was made. I want to see that fulfilled and I am confident, everybody does, it’s quite clear the First Minister does.”

Ms Sturgeon pledged to hold a second referendum on Scottish independence before the end of 2023 following the first one in 2014 when voters in Scotland decided it was a no by 55-45 percent.

Today, polls show the support mark is at about 50 percent.

Ms Sturgeon said on Sunday she would be planning the timetable for legislation to hold a new vote in “the coming weeks”.

The Scottish Government has been approached for comment.



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