RICHARD Leonard has been branded “invisible” and urged to stand down by a high-profile party backer.

Former broadcaster and Better Together backer Archie Macpherson says the party has become a "nostalgic cult" and is heading towards “utter irrelevance” under Leonard’s leadership.

The long-time Labour supporter said he’d like to see arch-Unionist Ian Murray in the top job and called on Keir Starmer to intervene.

He hit out after peer George Foulkes said Leonard would be putting his party first if he quit and tipped deputy leader Jackie Baillie to take over.

Posting on social media, Macpherson wrote: “I doubt if anybody interested in the future of the Labour Party in Scotland, and indeed in the continuance of the UK as we know it, could disagree with George Foulkes ... that it is time for Richard Leonard to step down from a leadership that is edging his party towards utter irrelevance.

“Keir Starmer will get nowhere in his ambitious plans until he wades into this issue, whatever the almost inevitable criticism of interfering in domestic matters, and awaken Scottish Labour from their apparent slumbers and their notion that they will get somewhere in political life grimly holding on to their present status as a nostalgic cult.”

READ MORE: Richard Leonard urged to step down by Labour Party veteran

Speaking to the Daily Record, Macpherson said it would be “ennobling” for Leonard to step down.

He said: “The harsh fact is Starmer can’t win without Scotland. I think he has to make a case for change. They are going to have to get ruthless.”

The former football broadcaster argued that it was time for “invisible” Leonard to go, adding: “I think it would be an ennobling thing for him to do. I hear very little from him. I don’t see him often.”

He added: “The very change of leadership would attract attention and spark interest.”

Asked who he thought would be the ideal person to take on the job, Macpherson replied: “I’d like to have seen Ian Murray as the leader of the party. I think he is excellent. He is articulate and straightforward.”

Labour are forecast to win just 15% of the vote at next year’s Holyrood election and the SNP said it will take a lot more than a new leader to spark a turnaround.

A spokesman commented: “Archie Macpherson has got his commentary wrong. A new leader is not going to revive Scottish Labour’s fortunes.

“Even Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein couldn’t breathe new life into Labour in Scotland.”

The pro-Leonard Campaign for Socialism organisation said: “If Keir Starmer and Jackie Baillie are serious about unity and the electoral recovery of Scottish Labour they should make it clear that Lord Foulkes is not speaking in their name.”