Nicola Sturgeon is only worthy to lead the SNP because there are no other options in the party, says one of its grandees.
Jim Sillars, the former depute leader of the Nationalists, also warned the First Minister to wait at least five years for another independence vote – so the movement can rebuild its case based on what Brexit looks like.
Speaking on Sunday Politics Scotland, he said: “Suppose Nicola was knocked over by a bus this afternoon, where are the candidates of the necessary stature to take over the leadership of the SNP?
“She’s what we’ve got at the present time and I would like to see her improve.
“If there was someone better around who had the intellectual capability to understand that you’ve got analyse things first before you take a decision, yes I think she should step aside.”
A second independence referendum should not be held before 2022 to allow the impact of Brexit to be assessed and so the arguments for secession can be redrafted, added Mr Sillars, a Leave supporter.