Johnson invites Sturgeon to UK summit after SNP leader pledges 2nd referendum

London, May 9 (EFE).- Prime Minister Boris Johnson has invited Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to a summit on the United Kingdom’s post-pandemic recovery shortly after the Scottish National Party leader pledged to push for a second independence referendum.

The SNP secured a comfortable majority in Scottish parliamentary elections and will form the next devolved government in the UK’s northernmost nation despite falling one seat short of a majority.

In the wake of her pro-independence party’s triumph at the polls, Sturgeon said her government had been given the mandate to pursue a referendum on Scotland’s place in the UK.

“Given the outcome of this election, there is simply no democratic justification whatsoever for Boris Johnson or anyone else seeking to block the right of the people of Scotland to choose our future,” she said in her victory speech on Saturday.

Pro-unionist parties took 50% of the vote in Scotland’s election amid a surge in tactical voting, UK media reported.

Johnson sent a letter to Sturgeon on Saturday inviting her to join UK government representatives and the leaders of the devolved governments of Wales and Northern Ireland to discuss the challenges ahead in the UK’s recovery from the pandemic.

“We will all have our own perspectives and ideas — and we will not always agree — but I am confident that by learning from each other we will be able to build back better, in the interests of the people we serve,” the letter, signed by Johnson, said.

Speaking to Sky News on Sunday, the UK’s Cabinet Minister Michael Gove said politicians should “concentrate on things that unite us.”

He refused to comment on whether Johnson would grant Scotland an independence referendum or block any attempt to hold one in the courts.

In a historic referendum in 2014, Scottish voters rejected independence from the UK by a margin of 55.3% to 44.7%.

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