Edinburgh reacts to Nicola Sturgeon spending over £260,000 on Supreme Court cases for indyref2

The First Minister has come under fire as taxpayers money was used to fund the Supreme Court cases which failed.
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Nicola Sturgeon spent over £260,000 of taxpayers money fighting Supreme Court cases, it has been confirmed. The battle for a second independence referendum has been long and the First Minister’s request to host indyref2 without the consent of Westminster was denied. Her decision has come under fire as she was advised by Lord Advocate Dorothy Bain that such a referendum would not be legal.

Alister Jack, Conservative Secretary of State for Scotland, told the Scottish Affairs Select Committee he thought Nicola Sturgeon had been too focused on the referendum. He said: “Last week, the Supreme Court ruled that the Scottish Parliament cannot legislate for a fresh vote without Rishi Sunak’s consent.

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"The Supreme Court’s unanimous and unequivocal judgement confirmed the UK Government’s long standing view that the constitution is wholly reserved to the United Kingdom Parliament and we note and we respect that judgement. Rather than being distracted by the politics of division, our unrelenting focus is now on working with the Scottish Government to deliver for the Scottish people.”

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon holds a press conference in Edinburgh on November 23, 2022 after the Supreme Court blocked a new vote on independence.Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon holds a press conference in Edinburgh on November 23, 2022 after the Supreme Court blocked a new vote on independence.
Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon holds a press conference in Edinburgh on November 23, 2022 after the Supreme Court blocked a new vote on independence.

Despite the ruling, the First Minister is still determined to push for Scottish Independence. At a press conference after the Supreme Court announcement she said: “As long as there is breath in my body, I refuse to give up on the basic principle of democracy.”

The legal cost of the First Minister’s indyref2 bid have come under fire from Alex Cole-Hamilton, leader of the Scottish Liberal Democrats. He said: “Having faced a humiliating defeat in the Supreme Court, we now learn that the SNP have thrown away a shocking amount of taxpayer money on this fool’s errand.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats are calling on the SNP to refund every penny of taxpayer money spent on this case and for all of the civil servants working on more separation papers to be immediately redeployed. Parents having to stay home because of the strikes and patients struggling to get treatment will be baffled by this gross waste of public money. It is time that the government focuses on what really matters. Scotland needs new hope, not old divisions.”

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A majority of Scottish MPs support holding a second independence referendum, but Downing Street has refused to agree to it.A majority of Scottish MPs support holding a second independence referendum, but Downing Street has refused to agree to it.
A majority of Scottish MPs support holding a second independence referendum, but Downing Street has refused to agree to it.

Some readers pointed out that the country is suffering from a cost of living crisis and that those issues are the ones they want the government to focus on. Jan Clarkson said: “She needs to get her priorities in order. Health, education, jobs and housing are more important than her never ending obsession with independence. The ‘people of Scotland’ as she likes to describe us, are being failed by her government.”

Denise Watson agreed, she wrote: “What a waste of taxpayers’ money. She was told no but she will not give up, she is putting taxpayers money down the toilet. It would be better to use the money to help families with heating costs.”

Cb Thomson commented: “It is time for a new leader. I’m fed up with this woman and her relentless pursuit of something she can’t get whilst wasting our money whilst we all freeze. I’m not against independence but I’m against forcing the issue.”

Readers such as Janette McFarlane said the money for the court cases should have come from a different source. She said: “Utter disgrace, she and her supporters should pay for this out of their own pockets and not from the taxpayers.”

The Edinburgh Evening News asked its readers what they think about taxpayers money being spent on Supreme Court cases.The Edinburgh Evening News asked its readers what they think about taxpayers money being spent on Supreme Court cases.
The Edinburgh Evening News asked its readers what they think about taxpayers money being spent on Supreme Court cases.

Cathay Jess agreed, she wrote: “Surely this should have come out of the SNP’s coffers and not everyone else’s?”

However readers such as Iain Lancastle don’t think the First Minister is in the wrong. He wrote: “It has not been a waste of money, far from it. It clarifies the status of the devolved nations within the UK and if the referendum had gone ahead it would have been challenged and such litigation at a later date would have been more costly.”

Mark Welsh said: “It was in the manifesto that won the election and it is an investment in the future.

"It is pennies compared to the rewards of controlling all of Scotland’s tax receipts.”

Billy Spencer wrote; “Well the taxpayers have voted the SNP into power for the last 14 years on an independence manifesto, so I guess they want their party to honour its manifesto pledges.”