PM Rishi Sunak speaks to new First Minister Humza Yousaf

Yousaf said he 'made clear' that he expects Scotland's 'democratic wishes' to be respected by the UK Government.

PM Rishi Sunak speaks to new First Minister Humza Yousaf Flickr/STV News

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has spoken to new First Minister Humza Yousaf, congratulating him on his appointment.

Afterwards, Yousaf said the call with the PM had been “constructive”, and included discussions on helping people through the cost of living crisis.

Yousaf added he “made clear” that he expects Scotland’s “democratic wishes” to be respected by the UK Government.

Sunak confirmed the call, and added he is “looking forward” to delivering on things that “matter most to people across Scotland”.

READ MORE: PM warns new First Minister Humza Yousaf over indyref2 plans

It comes just hours after the PM rejected the idea that the next UK general election should be viewed as a de facto referendum on Scottish independence.

Throughout his campaign for the SNP leadership, Yousaf has said every election should be fought over the issue of independence.

As First Minister, Yousaf said he would “kickstart” a grassroots campaign that would “ensure our drive for independence is in fifth gear”.

On Tuesday afternoon, hours after Yousaf was elected by MSPs as the next First Minister, the Prime Minister told MPs that he was “looking forward to having a dialogue” with Yousaf.

Asked if he had already rejected the new First Minister’s call for a second independence referendum, Sunak told Westminster’s Liaison Committee: “I have not had the opportunity to talk to the new First Minister yet, so I look forward to doing that.”

He added: “I think in elections people vote on all sorts of different things and I don’t think it’s appropriate to try and hijack a general election for one issue.”

He said the “people in Scotland will vote on the various issues they think are important to them”, adding that Scots had their voice heard in 2014.

The Prime Minister continued: “As I’ve always said, I think actually what people in Scotland want is to see their two governments working together to deliver for them.”

Sunak has consistently ruled out granting the Scottish Government a Section 30 order, which would allow it to hold a referendum on independence.

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