Michael Gove's 'Trumpian' rejection of Scottish independence support will boost cause, say SNP

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 peppered with questions from SNP MPs on Thursday morning asking him about why opinion polls suggest Scots favour separation 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?"

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Cabinet Office Michael Gove. Picture: Pippa Fowles/10 Downing Street/Crown Copyright/PA Wire

Mr Gove highlighted Westminster's support for NHS funding in Scotland and the UK Government-led Covid-19 vaccination programme, with Mr Wishart countering: "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, with Mr Gove noting the Scottish Parliament elections take 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.

A new poll from Savanta ComRes/The Scotsman published this morning showed independence support had hit record highs again, with Yes seeing 58 per cent support for the second time.

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