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Nicola Sturgeon hinted at a possible election tie-up with Keir Starmer today making clear she would prefer him to be PM.

The SNP leader insisted it is ‘not difficult to answer’ the question of whether Sir Keir or Liz Truss should be in No10, saying she ‘detests’ the Tories.

The comments come as the Conservatives revive warnings that Labour and the Scottish nationalists could do a pact to get into power after a close election.

Ms Sturgeon admitted this morning that her push for another independence referendum could be blocked by the UK Supreme Court this week. 

Asked if a referendum will definitely happen on her favoured date of October 23 next year, Ms Sturgeon pointedly replied she is ‘confident that can happen’.

The SNP is holding its annual conference in Aberdeen, with activists pushing for concrete progress on independence despite polls suggesting Scots do not view it as a priority and a narrow majority still support the union.

Nicola Sturgeon insisted it is ‘not difficult to answer’ the question of whether Keir Starmer or Liz Truss should be in No10, saying she ‘detests’ the Tories

Conservatives have been reviving warnings that Sir Keir (pictured in Wolverhampton last week) and the Scottish nationalists could do a pact to get into power after a close election

Conservatives have been reviving warnings that Sir Keir (pictured in Wolverhampton last week) and the Scottish nationalists could do a pact to get into power after a close election

Ms Truss (pictured in Prague last week) has been battling to contain a wave of Tory infighting over tax rates and benefits

Ms Truss (pictured in Prague last week) has been battling to contain a wave of Tory infighting over tax rates and benefits

The 2014 contest was billed by both sides as ‘once in a generation’, but Ms Sturgeon insists Brexit justifies a re-run. 

The Scottish Government’s top law officer is due to appear before judges arguing that it does not need Westminster’s permission to legislate for a ballot north of the border.

The Lord Advocate referred prospective independence referendum legislation to the court in the summer, asking judges to decide if it is within the powers of Holyrood.

Oral arguments will take place on Tuesday and Wednesday next week, although there is no date for an announcement of the court’s judgment.

Speaking on the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg, Ms Sturgeon said: ‘There’s little point speculating on the outcome of a court hearing, but should that be yes, we have the plans ready to go to legislate.

‘Work on refreshing and updating the substantive case for independence is well under way – that will continue over the course of the next days.’

She went on to say she is ‘confident Scotland will become independent’.

Pushed on whether she would prefer Sir Keir to be PM rather than Ms Truss, Ms Sturgeon said: ‘If the question to me is would I prefer a Labour government over a Tory government, I detest the Tories and everything they stand for. So it’s not difficult to answer that question. Yes.’ 

However, she added that neither Labour nor the Tories were ‘good enough’ for Scotland. 

On Friday, Ms Sturgeon vowed to go ahead with her £20million Scottish independence push despite the cost-of-living crisis – while telling Scots to be ‘sensible about their energy usage’.

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The First Minister said she had a democratic mandate to push on with her plan to seek a new referendum on leaving the UK in October next year.

In an appearance on BBC Breakfast, the SNP leader was asked if the budget to prepare for another vote – for which around £20 million has been set aside – would be cut in order to support people further with the cost-of-living crisis.

‘We’re talking about this financial year and the independence referendum, I hope, will be in the next financial year,’ she said.

Tories have been warning that Labour could do a deal with the SNP after a tight election - although the latest Opinium found Keir Starmer's party leading by 21 points, easily enough for a majority

Tories have been warning that Labour could do a deal with the SNP after a tight election – although the latest Opinium found Keir Starmer’s party leading by 21 points, easily enough for a majority

Cabinet minister Nadhim Zahawi pointed out that Ms Sturgeon was blocking nuclear projects north of the border

Cabinet minister Nadhim Zahawi pointed out that Ms Sturgeon was blocking nuclear projects north of the border

‘So even if we did, which we’re not going to because I was elected as first minister on a commitment to democracy…

‘I was elected with a record share of the vote in the Scottish Parliament elections last year on a record turnout. So. we’re going to deliver on that commitment to people.’

But in a later appearance on BBC Radio she advised Scottish people to be ‘sensible about their energy usage’ this winter amid fears of blackouts.

Earlier this year, the First Minister said the Scottish Government would refresh the prospectus for an independent Scotland in a series of papers.

Ms Sturgeon has revealed work on a Scottish central bank would begin immediately after a Yes vote, with the newly-independent country keeping the pound for ‘some time’, as had previously been stated.

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