An SNP insider has revealed that Nicola Sturgeon’s repeated use of the phrase ‘Will of the Scottish People’ is actually a reference to her long-term imaginary friend and not the democratic wishes of the Scottish electorate. 

According to the source, Will – or ‘William Bigbaws McTavish of the People of the Great Nation of Scotland’, to use his full title – is a sock puppet the First Minister keeps with her at all times to advise her on policy matters.

“After the 2014 referendum, she spent weeks telling us that ‘Will of the Scottish People’ demanded independence and that he would not rest until he got it,” the source told our reporter.

“Several people had noticed that she was constantly whispering into her handbag during parliamentary debates, and it was not uncommon to see her walking around with her hand behind her back. Then one day a few of us walked in on her having a full-blown conversation with this sock puppet. Without batting an eyelid, she declared that his name was Will and that he was now responsible for taking the country forward towards independence.”

Sturgeon is believed to have first taken Will along to a Cabinet meeting in late 2014, where the puppet’s presence was initially met with some skepticism. However, this soon abated when he proceeded to formulate their 2015/16 budget.

“Nicola was clearly unhappy with the initial proposal and complained that it did not satisfy the Will of the Scottish People,” said the source. “The next thing you know she puts on the sock puppet and starts mashing random numbers into a calculator.

“The final figures were total nonsense, of course, but it was a damned sight better than anything John Swinney’s ever come up with.”

The SNP’s critics were quick to pounce on the revelations, with Scottish Conservative leader, Ruth Davidson, going so far as to question the First Minister’s leadership ability.

“With public services crumbling and working families struggling to get by, it is ludicrous to think that the First Minister is relying on the judgement of a cheap puppet,” she told a press conference.

“Scotland needs a strong leader, and by that I mean one who will bend over and allow themselves to be used as a glove puppet by Rupert Murdoch, like every British Prime Minister since the early 90’s.”

Scottish Labour leader, Kezia Dugdale, was probably available for comment, but no-one really cares.