SCOTTISH Labour leader Richard Leonard has been slapped down by Jeremy Corbyn over his stance on indyref2.

Speaking to the BBC, the UK party chief said it would not be up to “Parliament” to block a new vote. But Scottish Labour’s position is that a Labour government should prevent any attempt to have a new independence referendum.

It’s the third time in a week that the UK leadership has rejected the Holyrood party’s position on Scotland’s constitution. Last week, speaking at an event at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, shadow chancellor John McDonnell said a Labour government would “let the Scottish people decide”. He added: “That’s democracy. There are other views within the party but that is our view.”

The comments sparked outrage. Edinburgh South MP Ian Murray described them as “utterly irresponsible” and “unhelpful”.

Leonard then claimed he had met with McDonnell and “made clear” that a second independence referendum “is unwanted by the people of Scotland and it is unnecessary”.

But McDonnell stood by his comments. “My view is that we will not be blocking a proposal,” he said.

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The National:

Asked about the row by the BBC yesterday, Corbyn said: “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. I do not think it’s a good idea.”

He added: “My view is that I’m not in favour of Scottish independence; the referendum did take place and a decision was reached on that.

“What I’d much rather is a Labour government given the chance to ensure that Scotland also gets the investment it needs, also gets the social justice it needs, and also gets the job opportunities for young people which have been denied. 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.”

Nicola Sturgeon said that Corbyn has taken the “right” position on a second independence referendum. She tweeted: “I’m not Jeremy Corbyn’s biggest fan but on this he’s right. It is legitimate to oppose independence and to argue against a referendum – it’s not legitimate for Westminster to block a democratic mandate and a majority vote in @scotparl for #indyref2.”

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A Scottish Labour spokesman insisted that both the Scottish and UK party leadership were on the same page. “Jeremy Corbyn said that he is not in favour of Scottish independence and that he believes a decision was reached when the 2014 referendum democratically affirmed Scotland’s place in the United Kingdom,” he commented.

“Jeremy Corbyn and Richard Leonard have made clear that there is no economic case for independence, especially with the SNP’s new position of ditching the pound and new policy of turbo-charged austerity to bear down on the deficit.”

He added: “What Scotland needs is radical reforming Labour governments at Holyrood and Westminster.”

Speaking at the Fringe, former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale repeated her claim that Corbyn would offer Sturgeon a referendum in return for propping up a minority Labour government.

Deputy leader of the Scottish Tories, Jackson Carlaw, accused Corbyn of surrendering to the SNP. He commented: “Both he and John McDonnell are preparing to hand Nicola Sturgeon the referendum she wants in exchange for SNP support for a Labour Government. Scottish Labour has been left dangling in the breeze – they are utterly irrelevant.”