BBC Question Time: Tory MP's heartbreaking plea to Nicola Sturgeon - 'See the struggles'

TOM TUGENDHAT made an emotional speech to the audience in light of the possibility of a second Scottish independence referendum on BBC Question Time.

This week’s BBC Question Time was largely devoted to debating and discussing the issue of Scottish independence. It comes as advocates of Indyref2 argue that Scotland has no place in the UK, as it readies to leave the EU, yet scots want to remain.

Mr Tugendhat, the Tory MP for Tunbridge and Malling, made a desperate and heartbreaking plea to the Scottish people not to divide the country any more than it already has.

He said: “The whole reason I became a politician was to serve our communities and improve the lives of the people we’re lucky enough to share these islands with.

“When I look around the country and see the struggles we’re having in making sure the health service runs well, that schools are delivering the services we want for our kids…

“And I then see another constitutional argument that is going to distract politicians from serving people, from serving what we really need, reducing waiting times, treating cancer, educating kids, building the economy, and I instead see another argument about whether or not we should split up our country, I have to say I find it very sad.

Tom Tugendhat made a heartbreaking plea to the Scottish people over another independence vote

Tom Tugendhat made a heartbreaking plea to the Scottish people over another independence vote (Image: BBC)

Tugendhat is a Tory MP for Tonbridge and Malling

Tugendhat is a Tory MP for Tonbridge and Malling (Image: BBC)

“I find it very sad because this isn’t an economic argument for me, this isn’t an argument over whether Scotland is big enough or too small, or whether England would be better or worse without Scotland.”

It comes as Nicola Sturgeon attempts to push through a second independence vote, the last having taken place in 2014, where remain won by ten percentage points.

Ms Sturgeon now says it is time for another vote in light of Brexit, as Scotland voted in favour of remaining a part of the EU while the rest of the UK voted overwhelmingly to leave.

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, has, however, consistently played-down the idea of another vote, outright saying he would not cede Holyrood the power to hold one.

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He said it makes him sad to see Britain in such a divisive state

He said it makes him sad to see Britain in such a divisive state (Image: BBC)

Many cite the fact Alex Salmond, the former First minister, said the 2014 referendum would be a once in a “generation” event, even if he lost by one vote.

Mr Tugendhat expressed this view, arguing that the time elapsed between 2014 and 2020 doesn’t suffice to a generation.

He continued: “For me, this is a fundamental argument about who we are as a people, and when I look around these islands, I’m not a foreigner in Dundee.

“This is our country we share it - we share it together.

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[ANALYSIS] 

This week's Question Time was held in Dundee

This week's Question Time was held in Dundee (Image: BBC)

The audience was keen to know more about the panel's thoughts on Indyref2 among other things

The audience was keen to know more about the panel's thoughts on Indyref2 among other things (Image: BBC)

“I find it incredibly sad when people talk in a way that splits us, divides us.

“And I know politicians of all sides do it, so I’m not making a partisan point, but I do find it deeply sad, when these islands have done amazing things over the last 300 years.

“We have brought a lot to the world and a force for good over many years and i think it is a real sadness to perhaps see that being thrown away.”

Tensions have in recent week bubbled away between Holyrood and Westminster, with the two powers seemingly caught up in a spat over the COP26 climate summit set to take place later this year.

Lord Ashcroft's poll on Scottish independence in 2019

Lord Ashcroft's poll on Scottish independence in 2019 (Image: Express Newspapers )

It came as its former manager, Claire O’Neill, revealed the name-calling that was involved in the summit’s logistical planning.

Ms O’Neill said she had suggested the Mr Johnson offer Ms Sturgeon a formal role to stop her SNP from wrecking the event.

According to The Sun, Mr Johnson replied: “Over my f**king dead body.

Sturgeon is likely to continue to push for another vote in the second half of the year

Sturgeon is likely to continue to push for another vote in the second half of the year (Image: GETTY)

“I’m not being driven out of Scotland by that bloody Wee Jimmy Krankie woman.”

Ms O’Neill made the reference public earlier this week, revealing further details to The Sun.

She said: “It was an extraordinary reaction from the Prime Minister, and not how many of us thought he should handle the Nicola Sturgeon problem at all”.

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