Nicola Sturgeon will today call on Scotland to “come together” to force Boris Johnson to give Holyrood the power to hold a second referendum on independence as the SNP insisted it was now the “real opposition to an extreme Tory Government” at Westminster given Labour’s disarray.

The First Minister will make a statement to MSPs, urging them to unite against the “threats posed by a majority Tory Government and impending Brexit”.

It will be followed by a letter to the Prime Minister, urging him – in light of the Nationalist landslide - to agree to transfer power from Westminster to Holyrood so that Edinburgh can hold indyref2 in 2020 to “escape Brexit”; a request he will flatly refuse. Days before the election, Mr Johnson told The Herald that while he remained in Downing St he would never facilitate indyref2 and the 2014 vote was “for good”.

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Speaking ahead of her statement in the Scottish Parliament, Ms Sturgeon argued that the call for a second poll was winning increasing support, pointing out how over the weekend senior Scottish Labour figures said they now accepted the argument in light of the SNP’s election landslide.

She noted how Labour MSPs might not yet support independence but recognised a “fundamental democratic principle…is now at stake”.

Ms Sturgeon explained, how in the 1990s with the prospect of a fourth Tory Government with no mandate in Scotland there was a coming together of parties, communities and civic Scotland to create a Scottish Parliament.

Faced with the “new danger” of Tory Brexiteers seeking to reshape Scotland and the UK in their right-wing image, she said: “I hope in the coming days and weeks we will see a similar coming together around the idea of Scotland’s right to choose.”

She added: “We are facing a Conservative Government, which Scotland did not vote for and which presents a real danger to our country.

“The Scottish Parliament has a duty to protect the values that people in Scotland voted for. We can only fully do that with independence and that is why later this week I will take the next steps to secure Scotland’s right to choose.”

At Westminster, her colleague Ian Blackford was asked about those next steps and whether they would include a court challenge.

“Let’s take things step by step over the coming days. Of course, we have game-planned this; we have worked out a strategy…We have a very strong case,” he declared.

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Asked again, the Highland MP again refused to reject the possibility of taking the Tory Government to court, saying: “We will come out with our plans later this week; let’s put the proposition to the Government and take it from there.”

Under the shadow of Rodin’s Burghers of Calais statue next to the House of Lords, Mr Blackford headed a photocall of the 47-strong SNP force at Westminster.

After cheers, hugs and kisses, he told reporters gathered in the failing light: “Let me say to Boris Johnson: the SNP won the election in Scotland.

“We won 80 per cent of the seats in Scotland. The Tories fought on one simple message; say no to indyref2. Well, Boris you got your answer; you lost more than half your MPs; you trailed 20 points behind the SNP; respect democracy; respect the Scotland people and recognise we should have that power to determine the timing of that referendum.”

Urging the PM to face up to reality, it was suggested to the party leader that neither he nor Ms Sturgeon could do anything if Mr Johnson continued to say no.

“We’ll see about that,” declared Mr Blackford, “because it’s not a good look for Michael Gove or Boris Johnson or anyone else to turn round to the people of Scotland and say it doesn’t matter if you vote for a party and you give it a mandate, we’re going to ignore you. Where is the democracy in that? All he is doing is pushing people towards the SNP.”

He thanked Scottish Labour figures for their “generosity of spirit” in accepting the SNP had a mandate for indyref2 and claimed: “This movement towards having a referendum is unstoppable. It’s simply the wrong thing to do for the Conservatives to stand in the face of that. This referendum is coming, it will happen and the sooner they recognise that the better.”

Mr Blackford claimed it was "completely bogus" to say that the Scottish people had already had their once-in-a-generation say on the future of Scotland.

“The simple fact of the matter is in 2014 when we had that referendum we were told that if we stayed in the UK that our rights as EU citizens would be respected; that promise has been broken and those changes of circumstances and the mandate that the Scottish Government won to the Scottish Parliament in 2016, it is right that we have that referendum," he declared.

When it was pointed out that Mr Johnson had a mandate from the whole of the UK that obliged him to refuse the SNP’s demand, given the Tory manifesto commitment not to facilitate indyref2, Mr Blackford replied: “Boris Johnson lost the election in Scotland. It is the SNP that has a mandate from the Scottish people and that mandate must be honoured.”

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Reiterating how the UK Government’s continued intransigence would be a “recruiting sergeant for the SNP,” the MP for Ross, Skye and Lochaber asserted: “This is a losing hand that Boris Johnson holds. We will have that referendum; it’s better that that is done in the short term rather than having a protracted wrangle over this. Scotland will have the right to choose its future.”

Mr Blackford insisted with other parties "subsumed by internal divisions and acrimony, the SNP will provide real and effective opposition, challenging Boris Johnson's devastating plans every step of the way". He said the Nationalists would hold the Tory Government to account in the "face of Brexit, austerity cuts, the threat to our NHS and the climate crisis".

After some Labour figures, including MSPs Monica Lennon and Neil Findlay, suggested the SNP did, in the wake of their election landslide, have a mandate to call for a second independence vote, Pamela Nash, Chief Executive of Scotland in Union, took to social media to say: “Pretty scunnered by Labour figures saying that the vote on Thurs was a mandate for #indyref2.

“It clearly wasn’t, majority voted for pro-UK parties and SNP campaigned on ‘Stop Brexit’, many saying this is why they voted for SNP & even Nicola Sturgeon acknowledged this on Friday.”

Ged Killen, the former Labour MP for Rutherglen and Hamilton West, who on Sunday accepted the SNP had a mandate to demand indyref2, revealed he had received “lots of not unexpected criticism” for his intervention.

But he noted: “Remember it was the Tories who agreed to the first indyref because the SNP won a mandate but now the pro-UK strategy appears to rely on denying the question, instead of defeating the argument. How sustainable is that in the long term?”

The Scottish Tories tweeted: “Labour are willing to cave-in to the SNP's demands for #IndyRef2. Scottish Conservatives will always stand up for the decision we took to remain in the United Kingdom.”