THERESA MAY’s Scottish Secretary has signalled that a Conservative Government would never agree a deal that would allow Holyrood to hold another independence referendum.

Asked by the Herald on Sunday whether he could “ever” imagine a Tory Government agreeing to transfer this power to MSPs, David Mundell said: “No, I can’t envisage that circumstance.”

Mundell also said that a Jeremy Corbyn-led Government was Nicola Sturgeon’s “only” route to a second referendum.

Paul Hutcheon: Nicola Sturgeon's route to indyref2 is through Jeremy Corbyn

Sturgeon last week updated MSPs on her plans for indyref2, which involved the introduction of a framework bill to set the rules on a potential referendum. She wants to hold the vote within two years.

However, Sturgeon accepts that a referendum should only take place if Westminster agrees a so-called Section 30 order, which temporarily gives Holyrood the ability to organise a plebiscite.

David Lidington, who is effectively May’s deputy, responded to the call by ruling out indyref2 before 2021.

Mundell’s intervention, which he made in an interview with this newspaper, goes much further than this Cabinet colleague.

On Brexit, Mundell also repeated his opposition to a second referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union, but he did offer a view on how he would vote if Parliament backed this policy.

Interview: Scotland Secretary David Mundell on independence, Brexit and David Cameron

Asked whether he would vote Remain, as he had done in 2016, he replied: “No. I would find it difficult to vote Remain in a future referendum because it would not be respecting the outcome of the previous referendum.”

Mundell also stepped up his criticism of Tory leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson. He said: “I don’t think that he is someone who does particularly gel in Scotland.”

He added: “He has not dipped his toe significantly into the Scottish political scene. He is not necessarily somebody who has an obvious affinity with Scotland.”

He also likened some of his colleagues at Westminster to supporters of Scottish independence:

“There are a group of Conservative colleagues whose entire political approach is driven by Brexit.

“They are as obsessive about Brexit as Nicola Sturgeon and some of her colleagues are about independence. Brexit matters to them more than any of the circumstances around it, or other things that are happening.”