The SNP hierarchy has attempted to appease party members frustrated with Nicola Sturgeon's cautious strategy for getting a second independence referendum by arguing the US presidential election showed she is right. Mike Russell, the Constitution Secretary, told the SNP conference there was a parallel between Donald Trump's "antidemocratic ravings" following his re-election defeat and Boris Johnson stating he will refuse another independence referendum if the SNP wins next May's Holyrood election. In a dig at party radicals who want Ms Sturgeon to draw up a 'Plan B' if Mr Johnson refuses to back down, he said Joe Biden had not resorted to "threats or lawsuits" to cement his victory. Mr Russell said Mr Biden instead relied on a "confident and flawless commitment to the democratic process" and argued this showed Ms Sturgeon would get her referendum with an election victory in May. He echoed a keynote speech by Ian Blackford, the SNP's Westminster leader, who told the virtual conference: "We only need to look across the Atlantic to see. Democracy deniers are destined for only one thing, defeat.” Mr Blackford appealed to members to "keep heart, keep the heid and keep faith" with Ms Sturgeon and her strategy as he insisted that Mr Johnson's opposition to another referendum would "crumble under the weight of votes in next year’s Scottish election." But they were challenged by Joanna Cherry, one of the party's most senior MPs and a close ally of Alex Salmond, who said Ms Sturgeon had to start thinking of an alternative route if the Prime Minister refused to change his mind. Ms Cherry told the virtual conference that refusing to allow another referendum would be "Trumpian" but added "if ever any United Kingdom Prime Minister was capable of Trumpian behaviour, then it's Boris Johnson."