BORIS Johnson's Brexiteer government has been warned over its "complacency" over a gradual but steady rise in support for Scottish independence.

A senior but unnamed Whitehall official has told journalists at The Press and Journal and The Scotsman that there was "not nearly enough panic" at No 10 over a series of polls showing Yes rising to between 49% and 52%.

Speaking after at least tens of thousands of people marched through Edinburgh, the source was reported to say that "the 55-45 result in 2014 was close enough".

The warnings came as Tory leaders were accused of pursuing a more "muscular unionism" in Scotland. Mr Johnson came under heavy recently for telling First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to stay away from next year's international climate crisis summit in Glasgow. A Tory backbencher, Andrew Bowie, last week even falsely claimed the UK Government had "given away" Edinburgh Castle as part of the Devolution Settlement.

The Brexiteer Scottish secretary Alister Jack also declared that Scottish Tories, who under former leader Ruth Davidson rejected leaving the EU without a deal, had been "brought in to line" with London thinking

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Only one recent poll, by Conservative peer Lord Ashcroft, has shown a majority of Scots now favour indepenendence. 

Newspaper reports on Monday said Davidson had sent a dossier of coverage of the Ashcroft poll to Downing Street.

It showed nearly half of all Scots want a new independence referendum within two years. This finding undermined long-standing Tory rhetoric that there is no appetite for a second plebiscite in Scotland.


Andrew Bowie

Mr Bowie, however, stood by the old line. Speaking to The Press and Journal, he said: "The Conservative and Unionist Party are ready to fight and win a second independence referendum. It's just we don't think Scotland needs or wants one."

He added: "Barely five years on from the last, and three years after a Brexit referendum that still has to be implemented, the last thing the country and the economy needs is more rancour and division caused by another divisive referendum."

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The Scotsman, meanwhile, also reported that Downing Street's "Union Unit" had agreed with Scottish Tories not to speculate on what might trigger a second referendum.

Ms Davidson, meanwhile, has not ruled out leading any future equivalent of Better Together in a second Scottish independence referendum.

The former Scottish Conservative leader this weekend confirmed she is very unlikely to stand at the next election, but said she would not sit out on indyref2.

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Ruth Davidson

Speaking at the Wigtown Book Festival, she said that she hopes there is no second referendum, and she will do what she can to stop it happening.

Asked if she would consider leading any future equivalent of Better Together Ms Davidson said: “Look, I hope there won’t be a next time … I will do what I can to stop that happening, but if it is happening there is absolutely no way that I am going to sit it out."