Sturgeon "relishing" prospect of an election

5 September 2019, 13:27 | Updated: 5 September 2019, 13:30

Polling station in Essex

Nicola Sturgeon has said she is relishing the prospect of a general election, in which the SNP would "stand up for Scotland's opposition to Brexit".

Speaking at First Minister's Questions on Thursday, Ms Sturgeon also suggested Ruth Davidson would not have stepped down as Scottish 
Conservative leader if she could "stomach" Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.
The First Minister's comments came in response to Scottish Tory interim leader Jackson Carlaw, who claimed voters face a choice of getting 
back to the issues that matter or further division with the SNP.
Mr Carlaw said: "Scottish Conservatives will stand up for and stand by our decision to remain within the United Kingdom, to back the 
decision people made across the UK to leave the European Union, to ensure this country can move on.
"If you want more years of division, vote for Nicola Sturgeon.
"If you want to get back to the things that matter - schools, jobs, police, the people's business - vote for us.
"That is the clear choice that Scotland now faces."
Ms Sturgeon said: "I can't help thinking that if the Conservatives had any confidence whatsoever in that message, Ruth Davidson would still 
be standing right now where Jackson Carlaw is.
"She can't stomach the direction Boris Johnson is taking this country in. Boris Johnson's own brother can't stomach the direction he's taking 
the country in.
"The question is, why should the people of Scotland be forced to put up with it?
"So I relish the prospect of a general election, I really relish the prospect of a general election."
She added: "The SNP will beat the Tories in a general election just as we have done in the past in a number of elections.
"And unashamedly, and unapologetically, in that election the message from the SNP will be clear - we stand up for Scotland's opposition to 
Brexit and we stand up for Scotland having the right to choose our own future, not having a future imposed on us by Boris Johnson."
Mr Carlaw also suggested Ms Sturgeon was not interested in the UK successfully agreeing a Brexit deal with the EU.
He said: "The First Minister doesn't really want to see successful negotiations between the UK and the EU, she wants the negotiations to fail.
"It's not in her interests to strengthen the UK's hand in those talks, she wants to weaken the UK's hand in those talks.
"She doesn't want people in Scotland to be able to move on from this, she's determined to keep it dragging on and on and on."
Ms Sturgeon said there has been no indication the Prime Minister has even been carrying out negotiations with the EU as part of an attempt 
to strike an agreement.
"I don't want to see Scotland have to leave the European Union at all," she said.
"And there's a simple democratic reason for that - Scotland did not vote to leave the European Union and I think any self-respecting Scottish politician would actually stand up for what people in Scotland voted for in the EU referendum.
"We hear all of this talk from Boris Johnson about trying to get a deal but I think we've also seen in the past couple of days the evidence 
that suggests very, very strongly that there is no meaningful negotiation ongoing right now."