A LEADING Scottish Labour politician has backed a second independence referendum, saying it is necessary to enable Scotland’s voice to be heard.

Alison Evison, president of the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla), made the announcement on social media, after the Prime Minister reiterated his opposition to indyref2.

Posting on Twitter, the Labour councillor in Aberdeenshire said: “It’s straight-forward to me: democracy must be at the core of all we do.

“Recently it has become fragile and we must strengthen it again.

“We can strengthen it by enabling the voice of Scotland to be heard through its formal processes & that must mean a referendum on independence.”

The call was welcomed by First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, who commented on Twitter: “Not for me to decide its direction, of course, but can’t help thinking that Scottish Labour would do well to listen to principled and sensible voices like @AlisonEvison.”

READ MORE: Analyst predicts FM to seek permanent transfer of indyref power​

SNP depute leader Keith Brown said the comments were a “reflection of shifting public opinion” on independence.

He pointed to the Yes Scotland pledge gaining 110,000 signatures in the last 24 hours to reach 408,674. He said: “The election result shows once again that Scotland is on a very different path to the rest of the UK.

“The SNP won an incredible 80% of seats in Scotland – an overwhelming endorsement of our campaign and message that Scotland must have its say.

“Alison’s comments are a reflection of shifting public opinion as voters look for an escape route from this Tory Brexit.

“With Boris Johnson in Number 10 threatening privatisation of our NHS, it’s no surprise that more people believe Scotland should have a say on its own future.

“Our movement is going from strength to strength – with more and more traditional Labour voters looking to independence to help secure a brighter future Scotland.

“Voters in Scotland have spoken – we will have a say on our future.”

Scottish Labour leader Richard Leonard has previously said his party would have to concede to a second referendum – but only if independence parties swept the board in the 2021 Holyrood elections.

Earlier this month he said the SNP “doesn’t have a mandate for a second independence referendum”.

But he added the case for holding one would be “won or lost” during the Holyrood elections in 2021.

He said: “If as a result of those elections, as there was in 2011, there was an overwhelming majority and a clear demonstration of support for a party that was in favour of holding a second independence referendum, then Jeremy Corbyn has said a UK Government will not block it.”

Evison is not the first Labour figure to speak out on the issue of indyref2 following the SNP landslide in Thursday’s election.

The National: After roaring home in Thursday's election, it is hard to argue against the SNP's mandate for independence After roaring home in Thursday's election, it is hard to argue against the SNP's mandate for independence

On Friday, former Scottish Labour leader Kezia Dugdale admitted the SNP had won “three clear mandates” for another referendum.

Speaking to BBC Radio Scotland she said: “It’s hard to disagree with the SNP’s argument that they have now had three elections with three very clear mandates for another independence referendum.”

She added the chances of it ever happening were “much reduced” with Boris Johnson in power.

Former Labour minister Malcolm Chisholm, who has previously spoken about his possible support for independence, tweeted following the election result: “Hope many of those against or undecided (me included) about independence will get behind incontrovertible democratic demand for indyref2.

“Hardest of hard Brexits and intolerable Johnson not what many No voters had in mind in 2014 [also Brexit has changed circumstances since 2016]”

However not all agreed with Evison’s comments yesterday.

Adam Wilson, Labour councillor for Annandale North tweeted in response: “Absolutely not Alison. We’ve had a referendum.

“Schools, hospitals and public services have been neglected.

“I will never support another referendum, independence economics is not in the interests of the many.”

Labour’s Scottish Executive Committee held an emergency meeting yesterday to discuss its disastrous election result, which saw the loss of six seats and Ian Murray left as the sole Labour MP in Scotland.

Leonard has defended his leadership, stating that “constitutional issues” played a major role in the defeat.

In a statement released on Friday he said: “It is clear we must do more to win back the trust of people on both sides of the Brexit and Scottish independence debates.”

Scottish Labour did not respond to a request for comment yesterday.

Meanwhile, John McDonnell has confirmed he will not be part of Labour’s next shadow cabinet following the party’s defeat in Thursday’s election.

The shadow chancellor, who played a prominent role in the party’s election campaign, said “I’ve done my bit”, and suggested a big reshuffle of Labour’s front bench team will now take place.

Jeremy Corbyn has indicated he will quit as Labour leader in the early part of next year.