GORDON Brown has accused shadow chancellor John McDonnell of falling into a “nationalist trap” over indyref2.

Entering Labour’s furious civil war over a future referendum on Scottish independence, the former prime minister claimed the Union is heading for “oblivion”.

His comments came as Nicola Sturgeon hinted at the possibility of a pact with Jeremy Corbyn which would involve SNP MPs propping up a future Labour government in return for a Section 30 order to allow Holyrood to run a new, legal vote on the constitution.

Last Monday polling by former Tory chairman, Lord Ashcroft, put support for Scottish independence higher at 52%.

A day later, McDonnell (below), speaking at an event at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe said a Labour government would not resist a second independence referendum, a statement that infuriated many of his Scottish party colleagues.

The National:

“It will be for the Scottish Parliament and the Scottish people to decide that. They will take a view about whether they want another referendum. Nicola Sturgeon said by late next year or the beginning of 2021.

“The Scottish Parliament will come to a considered view on that and they will submit that to the Government and the English parliament itself.”

That’s not the party’s position, with Richard Leonard having previously said Labour would block any request for a Section 30 order.

Leonard then hit out at his Westminster colleague, saying that at a meeting between the two he had “made clear” that a second independence referendum “is unwanted by the people of Scotland and it is unnecessary”.

Despite that, McDonnell doubled down, saying at a second Fringe event that Labour “will not be blocking a proposal”.

The row saw Leonard (below) at war with many of his own MSPs. The week of chaos was compounded on Friday when Labour’s Scottish general secretary unexpectedly stood down.

The National:

A source close to McDonnell told the Sunday Times that the shadow chancellor had done the Scottish party “a favour”, by adopting the position. They claimed it would avoid further alienating the 40% of Scottish Labour who support independence.

Sources in both the SNP and Scottish Labour believe McDonnell may also have been making the first steps in a bid to find agreement between the two parties.

Yesterday, in the Sunday Mail, the First Minister said the SNP will “work hard with others” to end Boris Johnson’s time in Number 10 and added that that a key election issue will be “who has the right to decide Scotland’s future”.

She wrote: “We’ll continue to work hard with others to stop Brexit and remove the Tories from office.

“A UK General Election seems inevitable sooner rather than later.

“In Scotland, with Labour too busy fighting themselves to care about jobs and living standards, that election will be a two-horse race between the SNP and the Tories.

“It will give us the opportunity to play our part in locking this right-wing Tory party out of government.

“A key issue will be this – who has the right to decide Scotland’s future – Boris Johnson or the people of Scotland?

READ MORE: Leonard to meet MSPs as Labour tears itself apart over indyref2

“It is perfectly legitimate to oppose independence but it can’t be right to deny people in Scotland the right to choose – and just as Labour’s position has crumbled in the last week, the Tories will find that trying to block democracy is an unsustainable position in a democratic country.”

Yesterday Brown said: “The United Kingdom is sleepwalking into oblivion and supporters of the Union have not yet fully understood the gravity of the threat.”

He added: “Labour’s role should be to stand up for Britain’s true economic interests but a few days ago its shadow chancellor, John McDonnell, also fell straight into the nationalist trap, suggesting a Scottish parliament should not be frustrated by what he called the ‘English parliament’.”