What has the new prime minister said about Scottish independence?

Rishi Sunak will face demands to allow a second independence referendum.

Somewhere in new prime minister Rishi Sunak’s in-tray will be SNP demands for a second Scottish independence referendum.

The Supreme Court is also considering whether the Scottish Parliament has the power to legislate for one without UK Government backing.

Sunak’s predecessors Boris Johnson and Liz Truss both refused to agree to indyref2 – but what does Sunak think?

He was asked that very question by STV political editor Colin Mackay during a hustings in Perth in August as part of the leadership contest that saw Truss become PM – albeit only for six weeks.

Would Sunak allow indyref2?

“I can’t imagine the circumstances in which I would,” he responded.

“We live in a union which is, of course, there by consent and by democracy, and I accept that.

“But I just don’t think that anybody thinks that now or any time in the near future is remotely the time to focus on this.”

The former chancellor added that he believed the pro-union side could win any argument over the constitutional question.

“When it comes to independence, I strongly believe in the United Kingdom,” he said.

“The support that we’ve put in place, and that I would put in place as prime minister at this difficult time, demonstrates the benefit of the United Kingdom.

“When it comes to Nicola Sturgeon, I want to hold the SNP government to account for what it’s doing and delivering for people in Scotland.

“But, crucially, I want to take her on and win the argument on the union because I passionately believe in it and it’s an argument that I think we can win.”