NICOLA Sturgeon has said Boris Johnson may have made Scottish independence “completely inevitable” by trampling on democracy to achieve Brexit.

The First Minister said the Prime Minister’s plan to suspend Westminster for five weeks ahead of a Queen’s speech on October 14 was an “outrage”.

She dismissed his claim that it was standard procedure as “nonsense” and an insulting cover-story for his attempt to stop MPs debating Brexit and possibly blocking no-deal.

She told Heart Scotland News: “I think this may well be the day that UK democracy dies and it may well be the day that we look back on as the day when independence for Scotland became completely inevitable.

“I think support for independence is growing with every day that passes right now.

“For people who voted No in 2014, for reasons that, while I might disagree with, I respect [as] legitimate reasons, I know many are looking now at this situation in the UK and thinking, ‘This is not the kind of system we want to be part of.’

“Scotland is a country that should be striving to be the modern, progressive, inclusive, outward-looking country with democracy at its heart that we know it can be.

“I think that case is winning new converts every single day.”

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In an official statement issued by the Scottish Government, Ms Sturgeon added: "This is a dark day for democracy. Attempting to shut down Parliament to force through a No-deal Brexit is an outrageous assault on basic democratic principles.

“In doing so, Boris Johnson is acting more like a dictator than a Prime Minister in what is still supposed to be a parliamentary democracy.

"Instead of this abuse of process Boris Johnson should have the courage of his convictions and call a general election.

“This move to close parliament will be fiercely resisted by the SNP and other opposition parties in the House of Commons - and Tories who are concerned about the direction their party and government is taking should also speak out.

"That must include the Scottish Tories. Ruth Davidson keeps telling us she opposes a No-deal Brexit - today she must say what she will do to help stop it.

“But whatever happens now, it is clearer than ever that Scotland cannot be properly served by a shambolic, crumbling Westminster system, and that our future lies as an independent country.”

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Scottish LibDem leader Willie Rennie added: "This is an Eton coup and a democratic outrage.

"I hope that Ruth Davidson will join the chorus of condemnation that this decision deserves and confirm that Scottish Conservatives will oppose any measures to prevent parliament having its say.

"This process began with a democratic vote, it must not end with a behind closed doors stitch up."

Scottish Greens co-Leader Patrick Harvie said: "Boris Johnson led a Leave campaign which cheated and broke the law to win.

"It's no surprise that now he's the Prime Minister he is continuing his assault against democracy.

"If we need to 'take back control' from anyone, we need to take it back from him.

"The people of Scotland are used to the UK Government treating them with contempt but this move by Johnson takes this contempt to a whole new level and reinforces the need for the people to have a say over the future direction of our country."