THERESA May's right hand man has ruled out a second referendum on Scottish independence by 2021.

Cabinet office minister David Lidington - effectively the prime minister's deputy - made it clear that he believes Nicola Sturgeon's call for an indyref2 by the end of the current Holyrood parliament is unjustified.

READ MORE: FMQs recap: Nicola Sturgeon faces questions after Scottish Independence announcement

His remarks came less than 24 hours after the first minister outlined her plans to put independence back to the people if Brexit goes ahead. Ms Sturgeon has set in motion a legislative programme for a referendum. She has not yet sought permission from Westminister to hold the poll through a so-called Section 30 order.

Speaking to reporters in Glasgow, Mr Lidington said: "We don't see any evidence there is a demand from the people of Scotland for a revisit the decision  they took in 2014.

READ MORE: Scottish independence: How European media reacted to Nicola Sturgeon's indyref2 update

"That referendum was something First Minister and her colleagues said at the time would settle matters for a generation. We don't see that a Section 30 Order is called for. I don't see that is going to help put right Scottish schools and Scottish hospitals. 

He added: "We have got a devolution system which has given many additional powers to the Scottish government and Scottish parliament and some of those powers have not been used. There is plenty more than can be done using the powers there are."

Asked if he would rule out a Section 30 order before 2021. "We have made it very clear that we don't think that is justified." 

Mr Lidington was speaking after addressing a conference on cyber security organised by electronic intelligence agency GCHQ.

Asked how refusing to grant a referendum in Catalonia had gone for Spanish unionists, Mr Lidington said: “First of all the Spanish constitution is very different from ours. But secondly there has been a referendum in Scotland. That was negotiated by David Cameron and Alex Salmond. “The sat down together there as mutual agreement about how that referendum would be conducted and the timescale of that referendum and the  then first minister and the the deputy first minister were clear that would settle matters for a generation.”

Mr Lidington said he saw no evidence of demand for Ms Sturgeon’s proposed vote. He said: “Sure, it is what a number of people who support the SNP want bit I am looking at consistent polling evidence in Scotland  which shows that, despite everything else, there has not been a surge in support for Scottish independence.”

He added: “I don’t see then the case for going back on undertakings made in 2014 about that referendum beefing definitive and I don't see the case is made for diverting political energy and bandwidth away from important matters to do with the quality of schools and hospitals and the need to attract investment and economic growth to Scotland.”