Nicola Sturgeon admits SNP is 'not perfect' after 10 years in power

The SNP leader faces ridicule after she claimed the prospect of criminal action was the secret reason behind Theresa May's snap election call

Nicola Sturgeon admits SNP is 'not perfect' after 10 years in power

Scotland's first minister Nicola Sturgeon has said that an Independent Scotland may not rejoin the European Union straight away.

She said: "Labour's manifesto leak simply serves to highlight how Scotland is leading the United Kingdom - numerous policies which they believe would benefit people in England were introduced by the SNP in Scotland long ago".

Ms Sturgeon was speaking shortly after Labour launched its manifesto for next month's general election, which she said "directly lifts policies that the SNP is already delivering" including free university tuition, ending hospital parking charges, and the abolition of the so-called Bedroom Tax.

"At the end of the Brexit process, when the terms of Brexit are clear and people can compare that with the terms and implications of independence, Scotland should have a choice", she told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show.

"Now it may be that we have a phased approach to that by necessity", she added.

But in an earlier email from her office to senior SNP ministers and civil servants, she called a report advising Scotland against joining the EFTA a "very good, extremely well-written paper", according to the Telegraph.

"We have to set that out at the time because there are still some uncertainties, many uncertainties, around the Brexit process".

A vote for the SNP on June 8 would give the proposals "democratic legitimacy", the First Minister said.

"My position is I want Scotland to be in the EU".

Nicola Sturgeon has said a vote for the SNP would strengthen Scotland's hand over Brexit and allow her to argue for a seat at the negotiating table. The European commission has also made clear Scotland can only apply to join once it is independent.

"The bottom line though is our single market membership should be protected". The former first minister Alex Salmond has repeatedly said that a general election victory for the SNP would be a renewed mandate for that referendum.

He challenged the party's Scottish leader Ruth Davidson to "bring it on", saying efforts to unseat him had failed in the previous nine elections.

An independent Scotland would use the pound "until we decide to do something else", Nicola Sturgeon has said. "She claims we must have a referendum on independence because we're leaving the EU".

"SNP neglect has led to a lost generation of Scottish children who are simply not getting the education they need and deserve" - Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale on the SNP's education record.

She dismissed any suggestion that Scotland has become more divided over the decade the SNP has been in power, despite the constitution now being a central focus of politics north of the border.

Speaking to activists in South Queensferry, outside Edinburgh, Ms Sturgeon said: "I know we are not ideal".

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