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SNP MP faces backlash after suggesting judges may be ‘biased’

Scottish independence threatens entire UK says TalkTV host

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Video footage recently resurfaced on social media of Mr Chapman speaking on a panel at Indy X, a Scottish Independence event held in April. Mr Chapman’s comments reference the Supreme Court hearing held this week, which heard arguments from both Westminister and Holyrood on which Government has the final say on holding a Scottish referendum vote. 

The panel discussed how Scottish Independence can be achieved, and Mr Chapman said: “I think the main thing is that if the Scottish Government put forward for a referendum then it will immediately be taken to court by the English government,

“And, you know, we’ll be in a stalemate position for years arguing the toss.”

He also added: “And I think the other thing as well if it does go to court then we’re not sure of getting an unbiased view from a set of judges.”

Mr Chapman later suggested “a reasonable Plan B” would be at a General Election, which “triggers our path to independence” if pro-independent MPs have a majority of seats and stand on a manifesto for Scottish independence.

Mr Chapman’s commentary has received criticism from other Scottish politicians, with the Scottish Labour Deputy Leader Jackie Baillie calling them “incorrect, idiotic and downright dangerous”.

She said: “No politician should be spreading conspiracy theories and undermining trust in our courts in pursuit of their constitutional obsessions.”

Christine Jardine, the Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, said: “Stirring up ill feeling towards judges is like the worst behaviour of the Brexiteers.

“SNP MPs should focus on helping constituents through the cost of living crisis, not agitating for independence at every opportunity.”

Donald Cameron, the Shadow Constitution Secretary for the Scottish Conservatives, also criticised Mr Chapman’s suggestion. 

He said: “These comments are a disgraceful slur on the integrity of the impartial judges examining this case.

“It’s clear what they’re up to. If the case doesn’t go the SNP’s way, they’re going to claim they’ve been cheated.

“It’s shameful but the SNP couldn’t care less. Their only interest is forcing IndyRef2 on hard-pressed Scots, at the worst possible time and at any cost.”

Stewart McDonald, the SNP MP for Glasgow South, posted on Twitter before the Supreme Court hearing dismissing claims that judges may be biased. 

He wrote: “The court will listen to the arguments and base its decision on the rule of law.

“Whatever the outcome, let’s remember the judges will have based their decision on points of law, not politics.”

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This week, the Supreme Court in London met to consider if the Scottish Parliament has the power to organise a referendum for if Scotland should become an independent country.

The judges have warned they may need “some months” to consider both arguments from Holyrood and Westminister, so it will be a while until a judgement is made.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has set a date for a new referendum on October 19 in 2023.

Earlier this year in July, the First Minister said: “The outcome of the 2014 referendum was accepted, the evidence of that is Scotland is not independent.

“And the outcome of the Brexit vote in Scotland was that Scotland wanted to remain in the EU – that has not been honoured by UK parties and government because Scotland is out of the EU.”

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