what-does-the-next-labour-leader-think-about-scotland?

What does the next Labour leader think about Scotland?

Four candidates remain in the race to become leader of the Labour Party and of the opposition at Westminster – but what do they have to say about Scotland?

Sir Keir Starmer, Rebecca Long-Bailey, Lisa Nandy and Emily Thornberry all agree that winning back support in Scotland will be crucial if they ever stand a chance of becoming prime minister. So what do they propose to do about it?

Sir Keir Starmer

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An early frontrunner in terms of nominations, Sir Keir Starmer already has the support of four Scottish constituency Labour parties – the only four which have declared so far.

The shadow Brexit secretary told journalists during a visit to the Scottish Parliament on Tuesday that the SNP would have a mandate to hold a second independence referendum if it wins the 2021 Holyrood election.

But he stressed that he does not believe independence would be “the right way forward” for Scotland.

Sir Keir is currently travelling across the UK “making the case for a radical transfer of power, wealth and opportunity” to local communities, because “people want decisions about them made closer to them”.

He has called for a new federal model of government, which he says would “end the monopoly of power in Westminster and spread it across every town, region and nation of the UK”.

This position has been endorsed by Labour’s only MP in Scotland, Ian Murray, who said it was “a positive way forward for the UK” – but Mr Murray is firmly opposed to another referendum.

Mr Starmer said: “We need a new constitutional settlement – a large-scale devolution of power and resources. This will involve building a new long-term political and constitutional consensus. I believe that could best be built on the principle of federalism.”

The Holborn and St Pancras MP also told the BBC that nationalism is “the wrong answer”, saying: “I’m calling for a new political consensus, a radical rethink about how we make the UK itself and the regions work in the 21st century, and doesn’t cause the upsurge in nationalism which in the end will break up our United Kingdom.”

Rebecca Long-Bailey

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Rebecca Long-Bailey is currently in second place in the contest in terms of nominations, and is an ally of the departing Jeremy Corbyn – rating his leadership “10 out of 10”.

The shadow business secretary says that while Labour struggled in the recent general election because of its positions on Brexit and independence, its problems in Scotland date back much further.

She said: “This has been a long-term decline,

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