PM urged to do more to combat threat of Scottish independence

Cabinet ministers ‘urge Boris Johnson to allow ALL Scots living in the UK to vote in a second independence referendum’ and bring back Ruth Davidson in a Government role to sink Nicola Sturgeon’s breakaway plans

  • Cabinet ministers want Ruth Davidson to be handed prominent Government role
  • They are pushing for former Scottish Tory leader to lead pro-Union campaign 
  • They also want PM to expand voting eligibility for second independence ballot 

Boris Johnson is under pressure from his Cabinet ministers to appoint Ruth Davidson to a prominent UK Government role to lead the fight against Nicola Sturgeon’s independence push. 

Senior figures want a new position of constitutional secretary to be created for Ms Davidson so she can head up the pro-Union campaign. 

The former leader of the Scottish Conservatives who quit Holyrood last month has been nominated for a peerage and ministers want her to return to the political frontline when she arrives in Westminster. 

Meanwhile, the PM is also being urged to expand voter eligibility for a potential second independence vote to allow Scots living elsewhere in the UK – and not just in Scotland – to have their say. 

Many in Whitehall believe such a move would ensure Ms Sturgeon is defeated. 

Senior figures want a new position of constitutional secretary to be created for Ms Davidson so she can head up the pro-Union campaign

The PM is also being urged to expand voter eligibility for a potential second independence vote to allow Scots living elsewhere in the UK – and not just in Scotland – to have their say

Mr Johnson is facing growing pressure to do more to prepare for a second Scottish independence vote. 

Ms Sturgeon has said she wants to hold a re-run of the 2014 ballot before the end of 2023. 

The PM has so far refused to grant permission for a second vote, arguing that the first was supposed to be a once in a generation event. 

But many of his ministers believe denying a vote is not a sustainable strategy and want Mr Johnson to step up his planning to win a second referendum.  

Ministers believe that Ms Davidson is the ‘best pro-Union voice we have’ and that the time is right to ‘bring Ruth back into the front line’.

They also believe that expanding the right to vote in a future referendum would help sink Ms Sturgeon. 

There are almost one million Scottish citizens living in other parts of the UK with a majority expected to be pro-Union.    

One cabinet minister told The Times: ‘We know Sturgeon will start trying to force another referendum as soon as she thinks it is politically tenable again, so there are things we can and should do now to be ready for her. 

‘One thing is to open up eligibility of the vote to all Scots in the UK, not just those living in Scotland. 

Ms Sturgeon has said she wants to hold a re-run of the 2014 independence ballot before the end of 2023

‘The other is to bring Ruth back into the front line. She is the best pro-Union voice we have.’

Another senior Tory figure said: ‘We need to get out there on the front foot and start acting like we’re ahead and not just wait for her to catch up again, which was the catastrophic mistake we made after the 2014 referendum.’

Supporters of the plan to extend voter rights for a second referendum believe the Brexit vote in 2016 set a precedent because it saw Brits living abroad allowed to cast a ballot. 

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