THE Yes campaign should shun phrases like “imprisoned or shackled” following the Supreme Court ruling, a senior SNP MP has said.

On Wednesday, the UK’s highest court ruled that the Scottish Parliament does not have the power to pass a referendum bill as separation from the UK is a reserved issue.

After the decision, the First Minister said she would not allow “Scottish democracy to be a prisoner of Westminster”.

READ MORE: FMQs suspended amid protest in Scottish Parliament public gallery

Stewart McDonald, SNP Westminster spokesperson for defence, took to social media on Thursday while Nicola Sturgeon was taking part in FMQs, to raise some issues about where the campaign goes next.

The Glasgow South MP said the ruling from the justices gave “clarity” and that it should be welcomed.

He continued: “My party has pursued every legal and democratic route to give effect to the electorate’s desire for a referendum. That we are committed solely to a legal, democratic route remains our strongest ground.

“We should never contemplate demurring from that position.

“Scotland is not a colony and our people are not oppressed. We didn’t need the court to tell us this - it was in the Scottish Gov’t white paper in 2013.

“That fact was correct then and remains correct today.”

McDonald added that the campaign “must therefore reflect this”. He continued: “We are a movement that’s inclusive and outward looking, conscious of our history and with a keen eye on the future.

“So although the court has made clear the consent aspect of the union lies with Westminster, we must shun talk of being imprisoned or shackled.

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“Our campaign is not a liberation struggle, but one of democratic, social and economic renewal, and empowerment.”

Suggestions that the international community could intervene to help Scotland move forward is “a road to nowhere”, McDonald added.

Following FMQs in the Scottish Parliament, McDonald’s view was put to the First Minister’s official spokesperson, with the suggestion that the words he had pinpointed were similar to what Sturgeon had been saying in the wake of the ruling.

The spokesperson replied: “Neither myself nor the First Minister can apologise for describing it as a denial of democracy, that’s exactly what it was.”

Asked to respond directly to McDonald’s comments on the phrases “imprisoned” and “shackled”, the spokesperson replied: “Well he’s upset, obviously about a lot of…well he’s in the building you can ask him about it, I speak for the FM.”

The FM’s spokesperson was asked to clarify if he believed opposition parties in Holyrood were denying the last election result in 2021.

He said: “Well they appear to be, there's a clear majority for a referendum in parliament, they seem to be in some way questioning or denying that.”

After a tense exchange with journalists over whether or not Unionist MSPs have denied the outcome of the last election, the spokesperson said: “Part of a democratic system is scrutinising what people say, so have you asked them about, have you challenged any of their rhetoric in the way you challenge every single syllable of what the First Minister or what we say, have any of you actually asked them?”

“I’ll take that as a no,” he said, after a short period of silence.