THE independence movement have condemned Keir Starmer's plan to launch a new devolution deal for Holyrood next week, saying it is "The Vow 2.0".

The Labour leader is to make "a major speech on devolution and the future of Scotland in a modern United Kingdom" ahead of the Holyrood elections in May.

It comes as Scottish Labour is under increasing pressure to devise a multi option indyref2 that includes a “devo max” proposal that would see Holyrood take control of more powers. It would also include reform the House of Lords to give greater representation to the UK’s nations and regions at Westminster.

Julie Hepburn, one of the SNP's most influential activists, described the plan as "The Vow 2.0".

She said: "Here we go again - Labour scrambling for compromise positions to placate Scotland, rather than working on policies to *serve* Scotland."



Starmer also plans to spend time on the ground ahead of the Scottish Parliament elections in an effort to win back centre-left voters who have switched from Labour to the SNP. The Times reported the format would resemble his “Call Keir” programmes where members of the public make their points to him.

After the 2014 independence referendum, Labour lost 40 of its 41 seats in Scotland to the SNP. At the 2017 election it regained six constituencies - but promptly lost those, again to the SNP, in last year's General Election.

But some Labour figures think Starmer is seen favourably in Scotland and that the speech is a chance to show Starmer as a future Prime Minister who values devolution.

On Friday he will deliver the annual John P Mackintosh Memorial Lecture, in which Starmer will show “how the next phase of devolution can build a more democratic and socially just Scotland in a modern United Kingdom”.