Nicola Sturgeon urged to rule out second independence referendum

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Scotland's leader Nicola Sturgeon on Friday promised to "reflect" on major losses for her Scottish National Party in Britain's general election, admitting the poor performance was in part down to her independence plans.

"Nobody will condemn the First Minister if she now decides to reset her course".

"We will reflect on these results, we will listen to voters and we will consider very carefully the best way forward for Scotland".

The Times writes that "throughout the campaign the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats insisted that their voters were appalled by the prospect of a second independence referendum".

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson has said she spoke to Prime Minister Theresa May to get "categoric assurance" that LGBT rights will not be affected by a Deal between the DUP and the Conservatives.

The Prime Minister had now "lost all authority and credibility", Ms Sturgeon said.

But her unionist opponents believed there was little enthusiasm among Scots to revisit the independence issue so soon after the 55-45 vote in 2014 against leaving the United Kingdom, and Sturgeon's own timetable for it perceptibly slipped during the election campaign to a more distant and less precise date, once the process of Brexit was complete.

She said at the time: "What Scotland deserves, in the light of the material change of circumstances brought about by the Brexit vote, is the chance to decide our future in a fair, free and democratic way - and at a time when we are equipped with the facts we need".

Sturgeon's party, which almost swept the board in Scotland two years ago, lost heavyweights to a Conservative Party reinvigorated by Scottish leader Ruth Davidson.

But was it Nicola Sturgeon's scotref strategy or her failure to actively campaign for it that lost the SNP seats?

Lib Dem MP Jo Swinson, who regained her seat from the SNP's John Nicolson, said the result sent a "clear message that East Dunbartonshire does not want another divisive independence referendum".

Ms Davidson said the party's representatives in Scotland will vote "entirely as they believe they should", a hint that they could prove problematic for Mrs May on certain issues as she attempts to keep her minority government together.

Writing on Twitter, the Scottish Tory leader dismissed the newspaper claim as "b****cks". I'm afraid that's not enough.

"Undoubtedly the issue of an independence referendum was a factor in this election result, but I think there were other factors in this election result as well", she said.

Ian Paisley Jr, the son of DUP founder Ian Paisley, has previously called homosexuality "immoral, offensive and obnoxious", while DUP leader Arlene Foster said previous year that advocates of gay marriage were likely to send her "in the opposite direction".

In March, the Scottish parliament backed Sturgeon's proposal to ask for their second referendum on independence. "But we have to acknowledge that the question of a second independence referendum was a significant motivator of votes against the SNP in this election, and we have to be attentive to that point".

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