Corbyn: UK parliament should not block Indyref2

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Media captionMr Corbyn insisted he remained opposed to Scottish independence

Jeremy Corbyn has said the UK parliament should not block a second Scottish independence vote – but he does not think “it is a good idea”.

He was speaking after shadow chancellor John McDonnell suggested the party would not oppose a referendum.

The official policy of Scottish Labour is still to oppose such a vote.

The Labour leader told the BBC: “It’s not up to parliament to block it but it’s up to parliament to make a point about whether it’s a good idea or not.”

He added: “I do not think it’s a good idea”

John McDonnell’s comments at an Edinburgh Fringe event earlier this month have been criticised by several senior Scottish Labour figures.

Image copyright PA Media Image caption Mr McDonnell said at two Edinburgh Fringe events that Labour would not block an independence vote

His claim that a Labour government would not block any request from Holyrood to hold a vote is at odds with previous statements by Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard.

Mr Leonard later said he had spoken to Mr McDonnell to “put to him the very clear view that the people of Scotland do not want a second independence referendum and also to remind him that the last independence referendum was supposed to be once in a generation”.

Labour’s manifesto at the 2017 general election said another independence vote was “unwanted and unnecessary” and would “lead to turbo-charged austerity for Scottish families”.

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Media captionRichard Leonard: “I am clear that the Labour Party’s position at the moment is opposition to a second independence referendum.”

Asked if he agreed with Mr McDonnell, Mr Corbyn said: “My view is that I’m not in favour of Scottish independence, the referendum did take place and a decision was reached on that.”

However, he said he did not think it was up to the UK Parliament to block an independence referendum.

He added: “I would advise that we don’t have another referendum. I’m not in support of Scottish independence. What I am in support of is justice for Scotland and that means investment in Scotland by a Labour government for the whole of the UK.”

There has been speculation that Labour and the SNP are moving towards an agreement to join forces at Westminster in an attempt to remove Boris Johnson from Downing Street.

Caretaker government

On Wednesday, Mr Corbyn wrote to opposition leaders at Westminster and Tory rebels outlining a plan to table a no-confidence vote “at the earliest opportunity when we can be confident of success”.

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