'Cynical' Ian Blackford shamed over Queen 'cover story' to boost SNP's independence dream

The SNP’s Westminster leader, Ian Blackford, said last month that the Queen would remain the head of state for Scotland if a second independence referendum was won by the ‘Yes’ campaign. He stated: “The Queen will remain head of state in an independent Scotland.”

But Tony Miklinski, Scottish Tory councillor for Cupar, Fife, slammed the SNP’s plan to retain the Queen if Scotland breaks away from the UK, denouncing Mr Blackford as “cynical”.

Mr Miklinski told Express.co.uk that the “Queen is a hugely popular figure across the United Kingdom”, but that did not mean Her Majesty would support the ambitions of the SNP.

He said: “Whether she’d be willing to be part of an independent Scotland as their sovereign, I don’t know.

“But I just think that for Ian Blackford to say that, given that she stands for the United Kingdom, is cynical.

“He’s cherry-picking.”

Mr Miklinski called the Queen a “dignified figure of sovereignty”, who the people of Scotland “want to keep as part of their nation”.

Mr Blackford’s invocation of the Queen in the SNP’s independence argument, he added, was an electoral tactic.

Mr Miklinski claimed: [Blackford] is trying to find something popular to say to the people who might be floating voters: ‘It’s okay, the Queen will still be our queen’.

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This then contrasted with the view of the Scottish Greens, who said they would push to start afresh in the newly independent Scotland.

A spokesperson continued: “The Scottish Greens are clear that after independence asking the people to choose a democratically accountable head of state would be the best step forward towards becoming a modern European nation.”

Ahead of the 2014 vote on independence, the Queen made a rare comment on the plebiscite.

The Royal Family is typically expected to remain removed from political issues.

Speaking from near her Aberdeenshire estate at Balmoral, the monarch said she hoped Scots would “think very carefully about the future” when heading to the ballot box.

Prior to the vote, former First Minister Alex Salmond assured the nation that the “Queen and her successors” would be secure in their position as head of state of an independent Scotland.

Mr Salmond told the BBC: “We want to see Her Majesty the Queen as Queen of the Scots.

“That is a fantastic title and a fantastic prospect.”

The SNP have been contacted for comment.

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