Starmer rules out second independence vote in Scotland. Sturgeon devastated.

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Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has long been campaigning for a 2nd Scottish independence referendum and claims her party’s landslide election win in Scotland last December provides a renewed mandate for another vote. It appears brand new Labour chief Keir Starmer is also against Scotland holding another referendum.

Ian Murray, Labour’s newly appointed shadow Scotland secretary, has revealed Sir Keir opposes a second independence referendum.
The Edinburgh South MP, the sole Labour member to hold a seat in Scotland, also said the party required to be clear on its place on Scottish independence – following Jeremy Corbyn’s much-criticised stance on the topic.

The former Labour leader repeatedly switched his position on the topic, first ruling out a second vote and then suggesting he could back a new independence vote in the future.

However, Mr Murray told the PA news agency Sir Keir had adopted a clear strategy.

He explained: “Keir was reasonably clear on all this stuff and to be fair so has (Scottish Labour leader) Richard (Leonard), that we’re against independence, we’re against a second independence referendum.
“I have been touring the whole of the country throughout the deputy leadership campaign making that case that a Labour government conducts through Scotland, we need to be clear about our fundamentals of why we are against independence, that we shouldn’t facilitate the means when we disagree with the ends.

“In relation to another independence referendum, that there’s not any mandate, trying to challenge some of that story which other people are telling and seeking to manipulate the mandate problem.
“And been pretty obvious that the Labour Party in Scotland can only really start to attain something when people in Scotland think that we believe what we’re saying in terms of independence and I think we’ve only got to be clear on this.

“I understand that Keir and Gordon Brown have invested a lot of time together with each other wanting to go through some of that constitutional stuff, there is absolutely no doubt the federalism and the constitutional convention which Gordon, myself and people like George Foulkes have been working for several decades now is currently right on top of Keir’s agenda.”

However, he quit the role in protest within the leadership of Mr Corbyn.
The Labour Party was decimated in Scotland after the 2015 general election, where the party lost 40 of its 41 chairs.

Mr Murray said the party needed to change its focus back to Scotland, as he explained the notion of a second independence referendum as “poisonous”.

He explained: “We are now six years from the referendum nearly and we are still discussing it, and it’s still poisonous and it paralysing the entirety of Scottish politics.

“So the challenge is excellent. The huge positives today, instead of then, is that the entirety of the UK Labour movement today knows the significance of Scotland, not just to the UK Labour Party, but into the Scottish Labour party also, and knows why Scotland needs to get back on the park.
“And if most of us have that thought in the forefront of our minds then we have got a chance to do something about it.”

He added: “I think that’s the measured change is people have absolutely grasped how important Scotland’s become for the UK Labour Party.”

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