THE Scottish Conservative Party is united in its “total opposition” to a second independence referendum, Jack Carlaw has insisted, as he backed Boris Johnson’s proposal for a bridge between Scotland and Northern Ireland.

The new Scottish Tory leader was responding to comments from Andy McIver, the party’s former head of communications, who said he had been at several events with leading party members, who said they were in favour of holding another vote on the constitution.

“There is one camp who thinks they have to say yes to indyref2 and the other are saying: ‘It was once in a generation; the SNP are mucking up the country and people will realise that.’”

Mr McIver claimed there were “very senior people on both sides” and that was a problem for the Tories. “That is the biggest thing Jackson Carlaw has to deal with,” he added.

However, the party leader insisted there was “no split in the party on this issue at all; we are united”.

“Let me be clear,” he told BBC’s Sunday Politics Scotland: “We are totally opposed to a second independence referendum…If people want to prevent it, then they have to vote for parties that oppose it.”

Mr Carlaw echoed Alister Jack, the Scottish Secretary, saying that even if the SNP won a majority at the 2021 Holyrood election – regarded by many as ending up being a referendum on a referendum - he would still oppose any call for another vote on Scotland’s future.

The Eastwood MSP insisted the 2014 poll was a once in a generation vote, which should be respected. “I don’t know how you define a generation…but I do know what a generation isn’t; it isn’t five minutes or five years and it’s not even a decade.”

The party leader also came out in support of the Prime Minister’s bridge over the Irish Sea idea, estimated to cost £20 billion, saying: “You’ve got to be bold and imaginative,” and adding: These are things we should be prepared to look at.”

The SNP has branded the “Boris Bridge” idea a “vanity project” while ministers on both sides of the Irish Sea have said it would be a waste of money. No 10 has said a “proper piece of work” has been commissioned by officials to see if such a project is feasible. A report is expected to be on Mr Johnson’s desk by the end of the year.