NICOLA Sturgeon has suggested the SNP’s campaign for Scottish independence would be accelerated if Theresa May’s successor in No 10 pushed for a hard Brexit.

And speaking to ITV’s Peston programme in a pre-recorded interview, the First Minister also indicated that if the UK voted to Leave in a second EU referendum, it would only cause Scotland to “step up” the struggle to break from Britain.

Ms Sturgeon has already claimed that if a Brexiteer like Boris Johnson succeeded Mrs May in Downing St, the cause of independence would “sky-rocket” in Scotland.

Asked what would happen if there was a push for a hard Brexit by the PM’s successor, the FM replied: “It would certainly see a lot of people want to bring that choice for Scotland to be independent as close as possible.”

Asked if that was what she would want, Ms Sturgeon said: “Yes, I think I would.”

The SNP leader was also questioned about what her party’s response would be if a second EU poll returned the same Leave result as the first one.

“Certainly, the struggle for Scotland as an independent country would be by no means over but perhaps just stepping up a few gears,” she said.

Ms Sturgeon made clear that her party could not support any Con-Lab deal that was brought forward.

“We’ve moved beyond that,” she declared, adding: “Even now the talk between Labour and the Tories only conceives of the possibility of a customs union. That is nowhere near what the SNP would think is acceptable.”