FORMER Scottish Greens MSP Andy Wightman has revealed he doesn't support another independence referendum next year and won't until support for leaving the Union is “sustained”.

Mr Wightman, who quit the party in 2020 over “intolerance” over reform of the Gender Recognition Act, and then stood down from Holyrood ahead of last year's elections, criticised the SNP’s language around democracy in the wake of last week’s Supreme Court decision.

The court found Holyrood requires Westminster’s consent to hold a new referendum but the UK Government has refused to grant the necessary transfer of powers to hold an agreed new vote.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said on Wednesday he respected the court's decision and added: “I think that the people of Scotland want us working on fixing the major challenges that collectively we face, whether that is the economy, supporting the NHS or indeed supporting Ukraine.

"Now is the time for politicians to work together, and that is what this Government will do.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has insisted there is a mandate for a second independence referendum after the SNP and the pro-independence Greens won a majority of seats in Holyrood in last year's elections.

Most polls suggest Scots are equally divided on support fo independence and the Union with backing for both at 50 per cent.

Ms Sturgeon told supporters outside Holyrood on Wednesday after the ruling that the UK was not a “voluntary partnership”. 

“We should be in no doubt, as of today democracy is what is at stake,” she said following the judgment and vowed that her party will launch a major campaign in “defence of Scottish democracy”.

SNP MP Allan Dorrans told the Commons that Scotland was "shackled and imprisoned in this involuntary and unequal Union against the will of the Scottish people".

Land campaigner Mr Wightman took issue with the language in a thread on social media.

“I have never supported an indyref in 2023 and I don’t support one at all until there is sustained support for it (referendums should be about affirming popular opinion not taking a divided electorate marginally over the 50 per cent threshold),” he wrote.

“I am thus genuinely shocked to be told by the First Minister of Scotland that I am (by implication) not part of ‘Scotland’s democracy movement’. I have been arguing for better (especially local) democracy all my adult life.”

It comes after opposition parties branded the SNP messaging on democracy “Trumpian”.

Scottish LibDem leader Alex Cole-Hamilton has been among those comparing the FM to former US president Donald Trump.

Responding to Mr Wightman’s posts, he again used the term. “Andy Wightman, here. Quite understandably choosing not to get on Nicola’s Trump train,” the MSP wrote.

Meanwhile, Scottish Labour MP Ian Murray called Mr Wightman “a voice of sense and reason”.