Nicola Sturgeon slammed for 'hypocrisy' by Neil Oliver
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The response showed disclosed that the Scottish Government held meetings on three separate occasions.
The first meeting about Scotland leaving the UK was held on November 24, 2021, January 14 and February 2, 2022.
The information response showed that the ministers and civil servants discussed the “approach to the development and delivery” of a new blueprint for separation as well as what “topics” to include in the document.
However, the officials refused to divulge further information when asked by the Scottish Sun, as they said it would “impact the formulation of government policy”.
Ms Sturgeon attended the first meeting in November 2021, along with Deputy First Minister John Swinney and Constitution Secretary Angus Robertson.
It was held at the same time health secretary Humza Yousaf announced that the NHS in Scotland would take years to recover following the pandemic.
Mr Yousaf also said that patients faced lengthy delays for ambulances and treatment at emergency departments.
On the third meeting, Ms Sturgeon was enmeshed in a row over the government’s advice advising education officials to chop off the bottom of classroom doors to improve ventilation in schools.
The details of the meetings have emerged after the Scottish first minister confirmed she wants to hold an independence referendum by autumn next year.
Over the weekend, Ms Sturgeon said she hadn’t decided on a specific date but maintained she was sticking to her plan to have Indyref2 in 2023.
The decision comes after polls indicated that the majority of the Scottish public opposed the referendum or wanted it to be postponed.
Douglas Ross, the Scottish Conservative leader, said: “It’s a disgrace that Nicola Sturgeon was off planning to break up the country while omicron cases were hitting and Scotland was under strict Covid rules.
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“Holding multiple top-level indyref two planning meetings confirms the SNP are distracted from the huge challenges facing our country.
“Nicola Sturgeon’s eye is off the ball again. She’s not focused on the day job and that’s why we see scandal after scandal over ferries, drug deaths, school standards, A and E waiting times and just about everything else.”
A Scottish government spokesperson said: “People in Scotland voted last May to elect a Scottish Parliament which has a clear majority in favour of holding an independence referendum.
“In line with that democratic mandate, the Programme for Government stated that the Scottish Government would start work on a detailed prospectus for an independent Scotland.”
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