It was made at the same time that the police were opening a fraud investigation into the party over alleged misuse of its referendum fighting fund.
The first and best allies of the campaign for independence have always been pro-UK politicians who think they can buy it off.
The Scottish Conservatives claim that £1.5 million of public money has been spent trying to build the SNP’s case for independence.
Scotland under the Sturgeon is the highest-taxed and worst governed part of the UK. That’s the result of the SNP’s failure to square up to its responsibilities, rather than concentrating on their separatist fantasies.
Salmond bowed out after taking his shot at separation in 2014; his successor may feel that she can’t step down without doing the same.
With a referendum taken decisively off the table, there is now space to really take the fight to the SNP on their domestic record.
The Prime Minister has no way of even trying to ensure the dispute is over by April except capitulating to the EU.
Also: Heaton-Harris holds firm on threat of fresh Stormont elections, but DUP insist they won’t restore power-sharing without movement on the Protocol.
Also: the ERG fire a shot across the Government’s bows following press speculation that ministers could fold on ECJ oversight in Northern Ireland.
Even now, the SNP can’t get the voters to the point of backing the break-up of the UK – and a Labour government wouldn’t make it any easier.
Endless efforts at constitutional appeasement after the 1980 referendum saw the country come very close to breaking up in 1995.
Separatists from different wings of the movement are increasingly united in scepticism towards Nicola Sturgeon’s new strategy.
Tories need to learn from the past: putting the problem out of mind is what squandered the victories over devolution in 1979.
Also: watch as those who studiously ignored Trimble over the Protocol neuter his memory to canonise him in death.
The First Minister hides behind the Supreme Court to avoid an unofficial referendum, but then plans to use an election as a ‘proxy’.