Scottish independence boosted by Gove’s ‘Trumpian’ opposition, claims SNP MP

Michael Gove’s “Trumpian” rejection of rising support for Scottish independence will only boost the cause, according to the SNP.

The Cabinet Office minister was compared to US President Donald Trump as he was peppered with questions from SNP MPs about why opinion polls suggest Scots favour independence ahead of remaining in the union.

Responding to SNP Cabinet Office spokesman Pete Wishart’s questions about why independence is the “settled will” of the Scottish people, Mr Gove replied: “Sadly I fear his reliance on opinion polls is no substitute for his aversion to hard arguments.

“Why won’t he engage with the facts?”

Pete Wishart
Pete Wishart

Mr Gove highlighted Westminster’s support for NHS funding in Scotland and the UK Government-led Covid-19 vaccination programme.

Mr Wishart countered: “Let me try to give him a few reasons and see if he agrees with any of these – the disastrous Brexit Scotland didn’t vote for, the attacks on our democracy, the undermining of our Parliament, the Prime Minister, him?

“Maybe they’re some sort of reasons as to why we’re now in the lead. But the main one, and see if he agrees with this, is the way he arrogantly Trumpian says no to a majority in a democracy.”

Mr Wishart asked if saying no to independence would drive support for the issue down or up.

Mr Gove noted the Scottish Parliament election takes place next year and he argued voters will ask questions about the “decline in educational achievement” in the country’s schools under the SNP administration.