SNP leader Nicola Sturgeon retreats from second independence referendum (for now)

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The SNP lost 21 Westminster seats in the General Election (Source: Getty)

Scottish first leader Nicola Sturgeon has announced she will not seek to introduce the legislation for an independence referendum at this time.

But, speaking in the Scottish parliament, she said she was committed to giving the Scottish people a choice at the "end of the Brexit process".

Read more: Sturgeon to demand a "four nation" approach to Brexit

She said the country should have "the ability to choose a different direction" and that the SNP had the mandate to call an independence vote in the next parliament.

"We have now won two elections with that explicit commitment in our manifesto...by any normal standard of democracy that mandate is beyond question," she said.

"Opposition parties, no matter how strongly they disagree with us on independence, as is their right, should stop trying to turn the basic rules of democracy on their head."

Read more: Sorry Sturgeon: Now half of Scots don't want an indyref before Brexit

Scottish Conservative leader Ruth Davidson said that Sturgeon's pursuit of a referendum was an attempt to "secure her place in history", and that her party lost 21 seats in the General Election due to her stance on independence.

"Why doesn't she give the country some certainty and take it off the table for the rest of this parliament?" Davidson said.

The SNP leader said in March that she wanted a second independence referendum to take place between autumn 2018 and March 2019. However, today, she pledged to "reset" that plan.