Nicola Sturgeon tells PM referendum is case of ‘when – not if’

Scotland’s first minister has told Prime Minister Boris Johnson that a second independence referendum is “a matter of when – not if”.

Nicola Sturgeon spoke directly with Mr Johnson for the first time since the SNP won an emphatic victory in Thursday’s Holyrood election.

Earlier, Ms Sturgeon said she did not expect the debate to end up in court.

A senior UK government minister appeared to suggest it would not mount a legal challenge to her plans.

During a phone call with Mr Johnson on Sunday afternoon, the first minister pledged to work with the UK government on steering the country through the Covid pandemic towards recovery.

The SNP said the leaders also agreed the importance of both governments working together “closely and constructively” to make the forthcoming UN climate conference in Glasgow a success.

But a party spokeswoman added: “The FM also re-iterated her intention to ensure that the people of Scotland can choose our own future when the crisis is over, and made clear that the question of a referendum is now a matter of when – not if.”