LABOUR leadership hopeful Lisa Nandy has accused the SNP of wilfully distorting comments she made about Spain's approach to Catalan nationalism.

The Labour MP faced backlash last month after suggesting Scotland could look to Catalonia for lessons on how to beat "divisive nationalism".

Speaking to Andrew Neil about her plan for an "international commission" looking to other countries where "the cause of social justice has beaten divisive nationalism", Nandy suggested Catalonia and Quebec could be examples.

READ MORE: Lisa Nandy under fire for Catalonia claim in Andrew Neil interview

The leadership candidate did not mention the police violence seen during and after the 2017 Catalan independence referendum or the jailing of elected leaders involved in holding the vote during that interview. 

While she did not respond to The National's requests for further clarification on what she had meant by her suggestion, she later condemned violence used by the Spanish police in a blog post.

During her appearance on Good Morning Scotland, host Gary Robertson mentioned the incident. Later, he asked: "You told a caller on LBC he was being conned by the SNP. The party have managed to attract a lot of former Labour voters as you would point out ... does that make them gullible, stupid?"

Nandy said that was not the case.

She went on: "One of the things that you started this interview with, about Catalonia, I’ve seen just how much the SNP will wilfully distort comments beyond all recognition – "

Robertson responded: "Well you talked about looking to Catalonia to defeat nationalism and a lot of people took that to mean that the violence we saw in the wake of that referendum in Catalonia was what you were talking about. Did you express yourself clumsily there?"

Nandy replied: "But why? Why? For one moment ask yourself why. It’s because the media, including this programme, picked up those comments and ran with what the SNP said that I said rather than what I actually said."

Robertson asked once again if she had been clumsy in her phrasing. Nandy denied that.

She said: "I said that the Spanish socialists had peacefully advanced the cause of social justice against nationalism, which doesn’t hold the answers to the problems that working people face. And as a consequence they are on track to do well in those elections that are coming up in Catalonia.

"Of course a Labour politician is not talking about using violence and following a right-wing government in doing so. This is part of the debate that has to happen next, we’ve got to do better, people of Scotland deserve far better than this."

During her interview with Andrew Neil, Nandy had said: "I don’t think there’s anything wrong with saying that rather than turn inwards and argue about resources, we should look outwards to other countries and other parts of the world where they’ve had to deal with divisive nationalism and seek to discover the lessons from when in those brief moments in history in places like Catalonia and Quebec we have managed to go and beat narrow, divisive nationalism with a social justice agenda."

Catalonia was not mentioned again in the programme. 

Nandy has been in Scotland this week on the campaign trail. Last night, speaking at an event in Glasgow, the MP expressed frustration that the SNP are given a platform in UK-wide debates like Question Time.

READ MORE: Labour MP Lisa Nandy suggests SNP should be excluded from UK-wide debates

In a video obtained by The National, she said: “If Nicola Sturgeon is on a platform – the Question Time leaders' special for example – then I think the leader of Scottish Labour ought to be on that platform.

“I do not understand why we are giving [the SNP and Plaid Cymru] a free ride to slate our reputation in Scotland and Wales while we have to stand on the same platform and speak to the whole of the UK.

"They wanna have a UK-wide debate, fine, they're not in it. They wanna have a Scottish debate, great, we’ll put up our leader thank you, and you can debate with them."

This week's Panelbase poll, backed by The National and carried out for Scot Goes Pop, puts support for Scottish independence at 52% - and predicts the SNP will gain four seats, while Labour loses seven, at next year's Holyrood election.