THERE should be no second independence referendum for at least 35 years Ruth Davidson said last night in a hardening of the Tory position.

The Scottish Tory leader claimed that when then SNP leader Alex Salmond stated that the 2014 independence referendum was a "once in a generation" vote what he meant was there would not be a second referendum for 35 years, the period between 1979 – the date of the first referendum on the setting up of a Scottish assembly – and 2014, the independence poll.

Davidson said: “What was Alex Salmond's definition? He said that between 1979 and 2014 was once in a generation.

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"That works for me," Davidson added as she stated that a second independence referendum should not be held until 2049 at the earliest.

Davidson also claimed that Nicola Sturgeon was now "as divisive" as Salmond, something she claimed had arisen since last year's Brexit vote.

On Sturgeon and Salmond she said: "I don't know about popularity, but I think that she's at least as divisive."

However, Deidre Brock, the SNP's candidate for Edinburgh North and Leith, hitting back, said: "Ruth Davidson is absolutely right that this is something that should be decided by the people of Scotland – which is exactly what we're proposing.

"But Ruth Davidson also said that Brexit would be a disaster for Scottish jobs and our economy – now she's saying that we shouldn't have the chance to avoid that.

"It's only fair that Scotland gets a choice on its future once the terms of Brexit are clear. That should be a decision for Scotland, not Westminster Tories."