A SECOND independence referendum should be considered by Westminster if the SNP win a majority at next year’s election, Keir Starmer has suggested.

The Labour leader insisted his party would campaign in opposition to indyref2 in the lead up to the 2021 Holyrood vote, but refused to say a plebiscite should not take place in the event of a landlside victory for the SNP.

He told Sky News: "I think another independence referendum will be divisive and that's why the Labour Party will be campaigning into the May elections on the economy, rebuilding the economy, on ensuring our public services are in the right place and defeating coronavirus.

"I'm frustrated in a sense that in the middle of a pandemic we've got the SNP talking about independence, we've got the Tory party talking about Brexit when, in my view, they should be focusing on pulling together to defeat the virus.”

Asked whether there should be a second independence referendum if the SNP win a majority in May, he said: "The Labour Party will be campaigning into May on the basis that what we don't want is another divisive referendum."

During a visit to Scotland in January, Starmer had appeared to back indyref2, stating: “I absolutely accept this as a question for Scotland, and the people of Scotland. If there's a majority, it has to be looked at in Westminster.”

WATCH: Keir Starmer stumbles as he's called out on indyref2 hypocrisy

But since becoming leader he has tried to backtrack. Pressed on the issue further by host Sophy Ridge, Starmer replied: “This is a question for the people of Scotland. If there's a majority it's got to be looked at in Westminster but the Labour Party will be campaigning into May on the basis of what we don't want is another divisive referendum.”

On the BBC's Andrew Marr Show, the Labour leader once again refused to be drawn into a discussion on whether he would support an independence vote.

The presenter asked: "If Scotland votes for the SNP and for a referendum and the First Minister says 'right we're going to hold a referendum, we want a referendum' Labour will stand shoulder to shoulder with Boris Johnson and say 'absolutely not, we at Westminster say you can't have it'?"

Starmer replied: "I'm not being hypothetical about what the future may hold."

His stance on the constitutional question was condemned by the SNP.

George Adam MSP said: “Both the Tories and Labour have repeatedly shown they have nothing to offer but an undemocratic refusal to let the people of Scotland decide their own future. Voters can see they’re quickly running out of ideas.

"Labour won't regain trust in Scotland by imposing Brexit against our will and telling us to get back in our box. And with polls showing that 4 in 10 Labour voters support independence, the position of denying the people of Scotland a choice is increasingly unsustainable.

"Scotland's right to choose a better future lies solely with the people of Scotland – not any Westminster party or politician."