Scotland politics

SNP has 'no divine right' to rule, Mundell tells Conservative conference

David Mundell
Image caption David Mundell said the SNP needed to "stop pursuing their own ideological agenda"

The SNP has no "divine right" to hold power, Scottish Secretary David Mundell has told the Conservative Party conference.

The MP said Holyrood's Nationalist administration believed it did not need to be held to account.

However, Mr Mundell said the Conservative's "fantastic team of 30 MSPs" thought otherwise.

He added that the prospect of a second independence referendum hung over Scotland like a "sword of Damocles".

Speaking at the UK Conservative Party conference in Birmingham, Mr Mundell said: "[The SNP] has abandoned the day job and Scotland is paying the price.

"They spend their time doom-mongering about Brexit and using it as an excuse to threaten a second independence referendum.

"That's not what the people of Scotland want. It's a sword of Damocles - the single biggest threat to Scotland's economy."

'Fantastic team of 30'

To applause, he added: "The SNP need to stop pursuing their own ideological agenda and start governing.

"They've come to think they have a divine right to hold power and not to be held to account.

"We know they don't, and now we have Ruth Davidson and our fantastic team of 30 MSPs to prove that."

Mr Mundell also claimed Labour under Jeremy Corbyn's leadership could "no longer be trusted with the union".

On Brexit, Mr Mundell insisted the nations of the UK would negotiate, leave and "face the future" together.

He said: "That's what I call a team UK approach because the UK is Scotland's vital union."

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