Tory leadership candidates tell Nicola Sturgeon they will block second independence referendum
Candidates to be the next Tory leader have said they will block any attempts by Nicola Sturgeon to hold a second independence referendum.
Sajid Javid, Matt Hancock and Rory Stewart all said they would refuse to grant the Scottish Parliament the legal power to stage another poll.
Scots voted by 55% to 45% to remain part of the United Kingdom in the first referendum in 2014.
But Nicola Sturgeon has said she wants to hold another one in the second half of 2020, and has published draft legislation on how it should be run.
Home Secretary Mr Javid said on Twitter: "If I become PM, I won’t allow a second Scottish independence referendum. People stated views clearly in 2014, so there should be no second vote. Nicola Sturgeon should spend more time improving public services in Scotland, and less time grandstanding."
Speaking on a visit to Scotland, Health Secretary Mr Hancock said: "I say ‘No way Nicola’. I’m against second referendums because we live in a democracy and we follow the results of the first. When people are given a vote, politicians should listen.
"The SNP government would do better to focus on the powers that it does have, that it isn’t using well enough. We all said before the Scottish referendum that this would settle the issue for a generation, and it has."
Mr Stewart, the MP for Penrith and The Border and International Development Secretary, said it was a "no" from him on the prospect of another referendum.
He said: "In everything we do and everything we say in this leadership race we should remember that the key is to unify the country and not divide the United Kingdom."
But the First Minister said Scots would not take kindly to being told they cannot have another referendum.